Anambra State Governor, Prof. Chukwuma Charles Soludo, CFR, has described the commissioning of the Second Niger Bridge as a fundamental change that will catalyze new waves of prosperity and economic growth in the South-East region.
Governor Soludo made the disclosure at the commissioning and handover of the bridge, which was officially named as Muhammadu Buhari Second Niger Bridge.
The official ceremony was performed by the President at the Bridge Head, Asaba-End.
Other projects virtually commissioned by President Buhari include the Federal Secretariat Awka, Federal Secretariat Yenagoa, Lokoja-Oweto Bridge in Nasarawa/Benue State, Ikom Bridge in Cross River State, and Abuja-Kaduna-Kano Road.
Governor Soludo remarked that he was personally overjoyed because the people of the South East have long advocated for infrastructural development.
He enumerated other four major projects desired in the region to include the dredging of three channels that will give the South East access to the Atlantic, the construction of the Anambra-Lokoja Road, the gas pipeline, and the railway line.
“Of these five requests, it gives us great pleasure to check one off the list: the construction of the second Niger Bridge.”
“President Buhari, the South-East will remember you as you leave office. It will not be a mistake to refer to the Minister of Works, Babatunde Fashola, as Mr. Infrastructure. This is indeed a fulfilled promise.
“We express our heartfelt gratitude for connecting Anambra, Asaba, and Delta”, he said.
Governor Soludo thanked the President and the Federal Government of Nigeria for completing the project which he described as critical.
Earlier, President Buhari expressed delight at being able to provide developmental services as part of his efforts to upgrade and renew Nigeria’s infrastructure, stressing that it is used to combat poverty and promote economic growth for the people.
“Getting out of poverty is much more difficult without infrastructure investment. This reflects our administration’s emphasis on the well-being of the people.
“The second Niger Bridge is now a reality, and it will provide business efficiency and service in a timely manner. It is my distinct honor to open the bridge to the public. This is an example of the long-term change that we promised,” President Buhari said.
On his part, Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola stated that the bridge’s unveiling connects every part of Nigeria, which he described as a story of development.
“The Mohammed Buhari 2nd Niger Bridge is a story about how Buhari’s policies meet people where they are, how travel time has been reduced by half, and how multi-dimensional poverty has been pushed back”, Fashola said.
In their separate speeches, the Governor of Delta State Represented by his Chief of Staff, Rt. Hon. Ovie Agas and the Governor of Imo State, Senator Hope Uzodimma, said that the bridge which is a promise made and kept will link the old Eastern region, old western region and the outside world.
The Minister of Labour and Employment, Chris Ngige, Minister of Interior, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola, State Minister for Works, and Housing, Hon. Umar Ibrahim El-Yakub, Chief of Staff to Governor Soludo, Mr. Ernest Ezeajughi, President-General Ohaneze Ndigbo, Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, MD Julius Berger, Dr. Lars Richter among others attended the event which also featured official unveiling of the project by Senator Ngige on behalf the President, flanked by the Governors and others.
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