The Organised Private Sector, OPS, has appealed to President Muhammadu Buhari to mobilize Julius Berger Plc, the contractor handling the 2nd Niger Bridge project back to site to douse the tension and dispel the rumours that he has cancelled the project.
President of Onitsha Chamber of Commerce, Industry, Mines and Agriculture, ONCCIMA, Uchenna Apakama made the appeal at the 26th Annual Luncheon and Award Ceremony of the Chamber held in Onitsha, Anambra State.
He said that the “crucial mandate of the Chamber borders centrally on the creation of conducive and sustainable business environment for the OPS through advocacy and partnership with government and relevant stakeholders in promoting the socio–economic development of Anambra State and South East in general.
“The Chamber strongly believes that the Buhari-led Federal Government has not abandoned or cancelled the contract for the 2nd Niger Bridge. It is on this basis that we are sustaining our appeal to the government to mobilize the contractor, Julius Berger Plc back to site as soon as possible.
“It is unfortunate that the Bridge has become a perpetual political issue with many past administrations in the country, despite its critical position in the socio-economic and security interest of all, not only the South East and South South, but also the entire nation,” he said.
Apakama who is also the Managing Director of Pax Pharmacy Limited, said: “The perpetual neglect of the Onitsha Enugu Expressway by the Federal Government has continued to pose a life-threatening challenge to the people of South East, as so many souls have been lost and yet the authorities feels less concerned, and surprisingly, the road receives yearly appropriation in the federal budget.
“We urge government at all levels to take necessary actions needed to complete the rehabilitation and completion of the road, the segment between Umunya to Awkuzu is a horror to commuters and without immediate palliative intervention, this Christmas period, it will be a nightmare to thousands of road users.”
ONCCIMA also decried the yet to be seen operational commencement of the Onitsha River Port, and tasked the Federal Government to conclude the process of concession of the port without further delay.