The reconstructed Akiama Bridge, which connects Bonny Main Town to Akiama, Oguede, and Abraham Hart Communities, as well the Coconut Estate waterfront, Ibani-Se Hall, Nigerian Navy Forward Operating Base, and the Federal Polytechnic of Oil and Gas, Bonny, amongst others, has been reopened for commuters to utilize.

Chairman of the Caretaker Committee of Bonny Local Government Area of Rivers State, Anengi Claude-Wilcox reopened it to the public on Thursday, July 4, 2024 at Akiama Community in Bonny LGA.

Former Vice Chairman, Bonny LGA, Omoni Longjohn

Represented by the immediate past Vice Chairman of Bonny LGA, Omoni Longjohn, the CTC Chairman thanked the various stakeholders for their invaluable inputs that ensured the project was completed in record time.

She commended the Nigeria Liquefied Natural Gas Limited (NLNG) for sponsoring the project, Evomec Global Services Limited (EGSL) for delivering a good job, Akiama Community for her support, as well the Nigerian Navy for providing security throughout the duration of construction work.

“We thank God for today as we gather to commission this bridge. The importance of this road and bridge can not be overemphasised as it is a crucial gateway to not just Akiama community, but the Forward Operation Base (FOB) of the Nigerian Navy, as well as the Coconut Estate Beach which serves as the entrance and exit point of goods and equipment for many of the NLNG Sub Contractors and the Train 7 Construction subcontractors which makes this bridge a very important roadway for not just the community but the IOC’s as well.”

“Therefore, we need to thank and appreciate NLNG for coming in to undertake the reconstruction of the bridge as a small part of her corporate social responsibility.”

“As government, we will like to express our gratitude to Evomec Global Services Limited and their dedicated team of workers who worked tirelessly in completing this bridge.”

“We also commend the Akiama Community and Youths for immensely contributing through local manpower and support in ensuring a hitch free reconstruction of this bridge.”  

“We also thank the FOB of the Nigerian Navy for their support, not just for this bridge reconstruction but for partnering with the Dame Hon Anengi Barasua Claude-Wilcox led Bonny Local Government administration in ensuring we all continue to enjoy a peaceful working environment for the IOCs and everyone in this LGA. This gratitude we extend to the JTF, Nigerian Police and other Government Security Agencies in the LGA.”

The Bonny LGA boss also called out Anthony Bamwa, an engineer with the NLNG and project manager of the Akiama Bridge reconstruction project, for failing to honour and implement in the full the agreed design for the project, noting that this impugns on the envisaged integrity and sustainability of the project.

“However, in view of the history of this part of the road which had collapsed before and rebuilt by the IOCs, the Bonny Local Government deemed it very necessary to ensure that this reconstruction must stand the test of time and therefore insisted that the design of this bridge should be in such a way devoid of any inadequacy that would lead to a future collapse again in the nearest future.

“The foregoing was what necessitated our strong request for a Wing Wall to be constructed at both sides of the drainages leading up to the bridge towards preventing sand from invading the surrounding areas, washing off into the drainages, eroding and blocking the culverts, and beneath the bridge.

“A detailed explanation and justification for this was presented to the NLNG Train 7 Engineers who agreed to the proposal but surprisingly, the Project Manager, Engr Anthony Bamwa failed to honour and implement the agreed design in full.

“The flaw in this part of the design can be seen by all, as before this rainy season will be over, huge quantity of sand and silt would have been eroded from this adjoining field to block the culverts of the bridge.”

Anthony Bamwa and the NLNG were yet to respond to Kristina Reports request for their reaction to this claim by the Bonny LGA Chairman as at the time of this report.

Dame Claude-Wilcox urged Akiama Community to own the project and ensuring its maintenance with a view to assuring its sutainability.

“As Government, we therefore urge the Akiama Community to take pride in owning this project and ensuring the regular cleaning and clearing of the drainages in order to extend the lifespan of the bridge.”

A representative of EGSL gave a detailed description of the project, explaining that it was a well-acclaimed trajectory of the company to deliver topnotch quality jobs for its esteemed clients, thanking the Bonny Local Government and the NLNG for the opportunity handle the project.

A representative of Akiama Community also thanked the Bonny Local Government, NLNG and EGSL for reconstructing the bridge, noting that the time lapse between the collapse and reconstruction of the bridge impacted adversely the commercial acitivities in the area, as well as made life difficult for Akiama residents.

In attendance at the event were members of the Bonny LGA Caretaker Committee, government officials, representatives of NLNG, and Akiama Community, amongst other stakeholders.

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