Motorists and commuters were stranded for over four hours on Friday following the collapse of a bridge in Dangana in the Lapai Local Government Area of Niger State.
The people condemned the government for abandoning the structure which had reportedly gulped millions of naira.
Findings show that the bridge contract was awarded in January, 2017 at the cost of N470m by the state government to ease the suffering of motorists and commuters in the community.
Northern City News gathered on Sunday that the project contractor, Soject Nigeria Limited, abandoned the site following the failure of the government to pay the balance of N77m.
A driver, Adamu Lapai, told Punch that the government was playing politics with the bridge, noting that the failure to complete the facility was causing untold hardship to the people.
“Government is extremely insensitive to the plight and the suffering of the people. If government had paid the contractor the balance of the contract sum as at last year, he would have completed the bridge by now,” he explained.
“Because of the forthcoming general elections, we learnt that the government has released N77m for the completion of the project. Honestly speaking, if they fail to complete that bridge before the election, God knows they will not get one vote from Gulu, Lapai and other communities,” Lapai added.
The motorist, who spent over four hours on the bridge, added that “There was no financial commitment on the side of the government and that was what made the work to stop thereby inflicting suffering on those using the bridge.”
The Village Head of Dangana community, Yanusa Abdullahi, said that motorists and commuters were going through difficully on the bridge, noting that farmers could no longer take their produce to the market.
“People of my community and others that make use of the bridge are suffering a lot; at times they find it difficult to take their farm produce to nearby villages or towns to sell due to the collapse of the bridge.
“Without that bridge, farmers cannot go to the market to sell their farm produce. We are appealing to the state government to speed up the construction to ameliorate the suffering of the local farmers of Dangana,” Abdullahi stated.
He said the temporary diversion created by the construction company was not helping matters as vehicles were getting stranded inside the river.
The Project Manager, Suject Construction Ltd., Milad Jarbanda, gave the assurance that the bridge would be completed in 10 days.