Cash Demands By Host Communities Halt Work On 2nd Niger Bridge

Communities within the vicinity of the 2nd Niger bridge are demanding for cash from workers and the government to allow work continue after clashes involving stalled progress on the site.

This was revealed by the Federal Controller of Works, in charge of Anambra state, Engr. Adeyemo Ajani.

He has therefore called on government and other concerned stakeholders to intervene in the warring communities to avoid delay.

Ajani ,who spoke with reporters at his office in Awka, Wednesday, said if there was no quick intervention, it might affect the completion of the second Niger bridge on record time as earlier promised

According to him, “the project does not have any issues in terms of funding, but the communities are trying to delay the project completion through their agitations and demands.

“Among all the presidential Initiated funding projects, second Niger Bridge is the only one that has no problem in terms of funding”

It would be recalled that some communities from Anambra and Delta states, had forcefully stopped work on the site, alleging that the project manager had not given them their “dues.”

Ajani, lamented that the demands of the communities were about N500 millions and wondered how such money could be raised for those communities.

He said the project may be delayed due to the crisis created by the communities and workers.

He said, “the Memorandum of Understanding MoU between the contractors and the communities, has not been signed.

“One of the reasons for not signing it was that the communities are demanding the sum of N50 million each which totals up to N500 millions.

“We are asking government to step in and resolve the problem” he said.

“Work at the second Niger bridge has stopped and we are asking government and stakeholders’ intervention so that work can continue and the bridge completed as scheduled.”

He also urged workers on the site to be patient with the contractors on their demands for increase in transportation allowance and promotions of junior workers.

Few days ago, the workers and host communities from Anambra and Delta states shut down operations at the second Niger being constructed by Julius Berger at Onitsha.

The protesters, alleged they were marching against noncompliance to agreements with the host communities regarding compensation, employment of ad hoc staff, skilled and unskilled staff as well as supplies.

Leader of the protesters and the host communities Liaison Officer (CLO), Peter Okafor also demanded the sack of one of the Directors over alleged highhandedness.

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