Olawale Ajimotokan in Abuja
The federal government has said the Loko-Oweto Bridge will be inaugurated in December.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed made this disclosure when he toured the project site with the Ministers of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, and Special Duties and Intergovernmental Affairs, Senator George Akume.
The 2.1km bridge links the Northern and Southern parts of the country and shortens travel duration.
The contract was awarded on November 2, 2011 at the cost of N51.6 billion. However, the cost of certified job by the contractor is N43.2 billion while the total advance granted is N7.3 billion.
The Chief Engineer of RCC Ltd, Mr. Igor Zavodchiki, pledged that the project, including the approach roads, would be delivered by the end of the year. He said the second lane of the bridge had already been opened for vehicular movement.
The two carriage bridge has east and west segments, each measuring 1,835 metres long. Earthworks and construction of box culverts at the approach road are in progress at the Oweto end while installation of lightning facilities on the bridge has also been completed.
”As we know Benue State in particular is agricultural with Nasarawa. And before now we used to talk of Benue State as the Food Basket of the federation. With this bridge, it is going to become the food storage of the federation because it is going to attract people from every part of the nation to this place,” Mohammed said.
The 106 kilometres road linking Oturkpo in Benue State has already been completed while the 76km stretch connecting Nasarawa State is at 20 per cent stage of completion.
In his remarks, Senator Akume appealed to the people of Benue and Nasarawa states to remain peaceful in order to attract more projects to the area.