The uncompleted Bedesiegha bridge along Bomadi Road in Delta State has become the centre of a fierce conflict between the federal and Delta state governments. The state government vehemently denies any assertions made by the Federal Ministry of Niger Delta State Affairs concerning the repair of the bridge. Speaking to reporters at the project location, Comrade Reuben Izeze, the state commissioner responsible for works, highways, and urban roads, denounced any false assertions or fraudulent attempts by individuals trying to take credit for an unfinished project with the intention to deceive the Federal Government.
Accompanied by his counterpart in the Ministry of Works, rural and Riverine roads, Mr. Charles Aniagwu, Izeze disclosed that the flood in 2022 had extensively damaged the route leading to the bridge. In an attempt to rectify the situation, the Delta State Government initiated a remedial project in December 2022, with an initially proposed completion timeframe of six months. However, the project faced challenges due to unfortunate circumstances involving another round of flooding as the affected area became unreachable.
A contingency plan for the safe passage of light vehicles was enacted.
Due to the significantly high water levels that nearly reached the peak of the bridge, a contingency plan was implemented to accommodate light vehicles under 20,000 tonnes and ensure their safe passage. The governor expressed predominant worry due to the road’s direct connection to five local governments. The collaboration between Bayelsa State and Niger Construction Company resulted in the completion of the bridge on December 20, 2023. Consequently, the bridge was unveiled for public utilisation during the Christmas season.
He explained that the presence of the gathered individuals there can be attributed primarily to the fact that during the process of asphalt laying in January, it was uncovered that specific individuals had made an effort to claim ownership of this particular project, which the Niger Cat Construction Company executed on behalf of the Delta State Government. On December 20, the bridge was completed and made accessible to the public. Taking advantage of the absence of the contractor and engineers who had taken a break, a group of individuals arrived carrying the flag of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs.
Aniagwu commends the project’s success and standard adherence.
They proceeded to place these flags at both ends of the bridge strategically. The Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs was falsely attributed with the responsibility of rehabilitating the bridge through their actions, leading to a misconceived notion. However, the truth remains that they are not the actual entity accountable for this task. The purpose of their presence is to inform the general public, specifically, the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and Nigerian individuals who genuinely care, that the Delta State Government is responsible for this project.
The main focus of the project is the extension of the bridge, and the contractors responsible for its construction are actively present and involved in all its processes. However, this disheartening situation has been a concern because it will falsely present the state government to its people, believing they have not been fulfilling their responsibility to them. On the other hand, Aniagwu expressed his gratitude for the Ministry’s diligent supervision, which guaranteed that the project adhered to all necessary standards and were carried out triumphantly.
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Expressing his utmost satisfaction with the successful completion of the project in accordance with the Bill of Engineering Measurement and Evaluation (BEME), he shares immense joy. In alignment with his colleague’s previous statement, they exhibit a shared commitment towards aiding the Federal Government in combatting corruption. This is primarily aimed at exposing and deterring those individuals who deceitfully planted their signposts without any substantive work executed, thereby presenting a clear intention to deceive the Federal Government.
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