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Lagos Commuters Brace for Hardships as Government Announces 40-Day Closure of Eko Bridge

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LAGOS, Nigeria — Just two weeks after its reopening, the Eko Bridge — a crucial Lagos artery to the city’s island — will close again for 40 days beginning Sunday, July 23 2023, according to a joint statement by the federal and Lagos State governments on Friday, July 21, 2023.

The closure, which will affect the in-bound carriageway at the Alaka-Costain – Iganmu section, comes in response to urgent repairs identified during its recent reopening, following a 15-month-long closure for maintenance.

The federal controller of works in Lagos, Olukorede Kesha, stated, “Any further delay in the repairs and replacement of some of those members could undermine the integrity and structural stability of the entire bridge, leading to consequences that would be better imagined.”

The move will undoubtedly disrupt commuting for the city’s motorists, who, having only just regained use of the bridge, now face another lengthy disruption.

However, during the recent reopening, Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the federal controller hinted at such intermittent closures as maintenance work continues.

“This closure is to allow Buildwell Plants and Equipment Limited, the contractor handling the repair of the bridge, to carry out necessary repairs to restore its integrity within the stipulated time frame,” Kesha said.

While the bridge undergoes these essential repairs, the service lane leading to Iponri will remain open. In addition, alternative routes starting from Western Avenue and its vicinity have been provided.

Kesha urged Lagosians to co-operate with the Lagos State traffic management team, which will be on hand to manage the inevitable congestion during the closure of the Eko Bridge. This latest disruption underscores the immense infrastructural challenges confronting Africa’s largest city.

Unraveling the Road Blocks: Senate Investigates Federal Works Ministry’s Road Contract

The Senate has ordered its Committee on Works, pending its constitution, to investigate the award of contracts for the rehabilitation of Aba-Ossisioma, Port Harcourt, Umuahia-Ikot-Ekpene roads.

The probe will focus on the level of funds released, the utilization of these funds, and the degree of work done so far.

The resolution came about after a motion titled “Urgent Need to Investigate Delay in Completion of Umuahia Umudike-Ikot-Ekpene, Aba-Ikot Ekpene and Aba-Ossisioma to Port Harcourt Roads,” was presented by Senator Nwokocha Darlington (LP Abia) during a Senate plenary on Tuesday, July 11, 2023.

Senator Darlington stated that the aforementioned roads are vital national assets, classified as “Category A” interstates roads by the Federal Government.

According to him, these roads traverse and connect Nigeria’s South-East, South-South, South-West, and Northern geopolitical zones.

He stressed that the roads form the backbone of the economic and social life of Aba, Umuahia, Uyo, Ikot-Ekpene, and Port Harcourt.

They also serve as vital arteries for Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation Limited operations, providing the company with an alternative distribution channel for petroleum products.

“Important agricultural produce nationwide has continued to perish due to uncountable delays in the completion of the road projects,” lamented Senator Darlington.

The contracts for the road projects were awarded to CGCC Global Project Nigeria Limited, Heartland and Raycon Construction Company, and China Civil Engineering Construction Company, CCECC.

The funding was provided by NNPC Limited, in line with the Presidential Executive Order 007 signed in 2019, under the Road Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme.

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