Babatunde Fashola, Minister for Works and Housing, has urged patience and understanding as he orders the closure of the Second Nigeria Bridge to traffic to enable the contractors to resume work on the access roads to the bridge. The bridge will be closed tomorrow, Sunday, January 15, 2023.
Work on the bridge, which has become a major campaign tool in the hands of all candidates on the platform of the ruling All Progressives Congress (APC), was suspended on December 15, 2022 to ease traffic flow for Christmas travelers.
Fashola also ordered the closure of others highways that were opened for traffic in December. He told the contractors to restore all barricades at the sites that were removed during the Yuletide season, explaining that the action was aimed to complete on-going projects.
Folorunso Esan, the Permanent Secretary of the ministry of works and housing, listed the affected highways as Lagos-Ibadan Expressway (from OPIC to the old toll-gate ) and the Abuja-Kaduna-Kano Expressway (around Kawo on the Kaduna-Zaria Section).
Earlier, Fashola had disclosed that the Second Niger Bridge, along with other federal highways in the country, might be tolled through the Highway Development and Management Initiative (HDMI).
The HDMI seeks to facilitate the development of parts of Nigeria’s 35,000km of federal highway network by bringing order, efficiency, accountability, and profitable entrepreneurship to the operation, management of all assets within the Right of Way.
So far, 11 construction firms have indicated interest to manage and toll 12 selected highways across the nation. The 12 highways have a combined length of approximately 11km, representing 5.6 percent of the 35,000km federal highway network.
“The concessionaires (firms) will take responsibility for developing and managing their respective highways for an agreed period of time, including the economic rights over all revenue-generating commercial activities from the Highway Economy along the Right of Way.” Fashola explained.