Governor Of Anambra StateTHE Director-General (D-G) of the Nigerian Emergency Management Agency (NEMA), AVM Mohammed Audu-Bida (Rtd) has written the Minister of Transportation Diezani Alison-Madueke, and the Governor of Anambra State, Mr. Peter Obi, urging immediate action on the first Niger Bridge before disaster strikes there.
Exchanging views with a delegation of the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN) in Abuja, the D-G said reports had raised concerns about the safety of commuters on the bridge and that he wanted urgent action to avert what could become a monumental disaster should the bridge collapse suddenly.
His words, “we have written the Ministry of Transportation and the government of Anambra State saying that we want them to send experts there in order to have expert opinion on the exact condition of the bridge.” The D-G said he would lead a team of NEMA officials to the bridge on the 10th of next month to enable them undertake an on-the-spot assessment of the situation on ground but that NEMA required expert opinion in order to properly advise the Federal Government.
The Minister of Transport told the House of Representatives recently that a disagreement between the Federal Government and Gitto, the contractor/concessionaire, had stalled the take-off of the second Niger Bridge.
AVM Audu-Bida said that his administration would lay more emphasis on averting disasters in the country rather than wait for one to happen and then the whole people would be thrown into confusion and grief.
The NEMA boss who said the analysis of the flight data recorder (black box) of the Wings Airline plane that crashed at a village in Obanliku Local Government Area of Cross River State was still being awaited. He also said that the human remains recovered from the crash site were also being analysed to determine those involved in the crash but expressed surprise at the attitude of most members of the society who cry out when a disaster occurred but don’t ask questions what went wrong, thereafter. “When the disaster occurred everybody was blaming everybody else. The first issue was that the plane was missing but now that it has been found have crashed people are not asking what went wrong”, he said.
AVM Audu-Bida said “for us in NEMA the question of what went wrong is very important” and added that the agency had written relevant organisations especially in the aviation industry to re-evaluate what went wrong and to do a detailed report to enable all stakeholders sit down and analyse them in order to prevent such mishaps in the future.