The Second Niger Bridge which was initiated under the administration of Goodluck Jonathan and is being sustained by President Muhammadu Buhari is a Federal government project that is 1.6km (0.99mi) long and furnished with other ancillary infrastructure.
The bridge includes a 10.3 km (6.4 mi) highway, Owerri interchange, and a toll station. The bridge is expected to be completed in the year 2022.
However, there’s sufficient evidence to show that the Federal Government isn’t putting in the same effort compared to other bridges inherited, particularly the Benue River Bridge at Loko Oweta, Nasarawa State.
Here are some interesting facts to consider:
- The FGN is funding the Loko Oweta Bridge 100%; while building the Onitsha Bridge via a PPP arrangement. Thus, the Onitsha Bridge would in addition have between 17 – 22 tolls to recoup the expenditure.
- The road across the Loko Oweta Bridge has less than 10% of the traffic on the road across the Onitsha Bridge.
- The Loko Oweta Bridge is 1,835m (1.83Km) long, double (i.e. double bridge or dual carriage), with each having 22 spans of 85m.
- The Onitsha Bridge is 1,630m (i.e. 1.63Km) long, single (i.e. single bridge or single lane) and has less than 22 spans.
- The Loko Oweta Bridge has a facility for rail line but Onitsha Bridge doesn’t. That facility was removed from the design by the current FGN.
- Every day, the construction of the Onitsha Bridge which is to be completed by 2022 is in the news; it even has a website and JB beams everything online. Sightseeing, sight visits, etc are encouraged every day to the Onitsha Bridge. That of Loko Oweta is nearly 100% completed and no one says anything about it.
- The River Benue bridge near Lokoja and Ajaokuta are both dual carriages.
Either way, the bridge is being constructed across the Niger River and it will span from Asaba to Ozobulu and Ogbaru areas.
The project is being developed through a public-private partnership (PPP) involving Julius Berger.