Delta Petitions FG over Claims to Bedesiegha Bridge Rehabilitation
Delta State Government has refuted attempted claims by the Federal Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs on the rehabilitation of the failed Bedesiegha bridge, along Bomadi Road in the state.
Addressing journalists at the project site, on Saturday, the State Commissioner for Works Highways and Urban Roads, Comrade Reuben Izeze said it was mendacious and an attempt to swindle the Federal Government for anyone to lay claim to a project not done by them.
Izeze who was in company of his counterpart in the Ministry of Works, Rural and Riverine Roads, Mr Charles Aniagwu, Member Representing Patani Constituency, Hon. Emmanuel Sinebe and Permanent Secretary Ministry of Works, Engr. Fred Edafioghor said; “the approach to the bridge was eroded by flood in 2022 and the Delta State Government awarded this remedial work in December 2022 with a 6-months completion period which was not feasible because of another round of flood that made the place inaccessible.
“The water rose almost on top of the bridge so an emergency alternative route was created to at least take care of light vehicles below 20,000 tonnes.
“The Governor was particularly concerned because this road leads to five local governments and Bayelsa State and Niger Construction Company concluded work on the bridge since December 20, 2023 and it was subsequently opened up for use by the general public during Christmas.
“The main reason why we are here today is that in the course of laying the Asphalt in January, we discovered that certain persons had attempted to take credit for this job that was done by the Delta State Government through Niger Cat Construction Company.
“The bridge was completed and opened up to the general public as at December 20 and because the contractor and our engineers had gone on break, these persons came with the flag of the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and placed them on both ends of the bridge.
“By their action they made it seem as if it was the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs that was responsible for the rehabilitation of the bridge but that is actually not the case.
“We are here to let the public, particularly the Ministry of Niger Delta Affairs and well meaning Nigerians to know that this project particularly the extension of the bridge was done by the Delta State Government and the contractors are right here with us. So it’s surprising that somebody wants to lay claim to what they have not done.”
On his part, Aniagwu commended the ministry for the proper supervision in ensuring that the project was delivered according to specification, saying, “I am happy that the work has been well delivered according to the Bill of Engineering Measurement and Evaluation BEME.
“Like my colleague earlier said, we are also interested in helping the Federal Government to fight corruption because those who came here to erect their signpost without doing any work here obviously had the intention of deceiving the Federal Government.
“This project is not a small project because it runs into billions so for someone to come here and lay claim if you don’t correct that impression the person may succeed collecting billions for work done by another person.
“We welcome interventionist agencies including Niger Delta Development Commission NDDC to work in our state because that is the reason they were set up but they must do the work well and claim money for the job they have done and not the one they have not done.
“We will continue to partner with them but not for the purpose of allowing us do a job and then go back and claim the money, that is corruption and we hope that the Minister of Niger Delta Affairs who has a whole lot of integrity will take note of this that the bridge at Bedesiegha along Bomadi Road was rehabilitated by the Delta State Government.
“It is in the characteristics of Governor Oborevwori to respond in good time, because it is his nature to ensure that projects are delivered in good time and I am happy that our people are now plying the route.”
Member Representing Patani Constituency, Hon Emmanuel Sinebe lauded Governor Oborevwori for the prompt completion of the project, adding that it was a great relief to the people.
“We are very happy that this is happening in our time. The Governor is very proactive and has promised to touch every community in the state and we can see development coming to our area.
“We are very impressed with what we are seeing here today and I thank you all for the impressive job you have done here.”
Earlier, Permanent Secretary in the Ministry, Engr Fred Edafioghor said the original construction of the bridge did not include an abutment consequently the bridge was severely eroded and was threatening to collapse the approach slab and completely deny all of us access to the bridge.
“About a year ago Bomadi and the other communities on the other side were completely cut off but the Delta State Government intervened and awarded the job to Niger Construction Limited for the expansion of the bridge and to undertake some remedial work in the area to protect the abortment and the embankment.
“That has been completed today and you can see that we have expanded it by a single span and the new extension is linked to the old bridge by a propped cantilever structure,” he stated.