The rate of suicide in Nigeria is becoming alarming and the menace is set to rip into the purse of the Federal Government, as President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration is being compelled to consider redesigning the 2nd Niger Bridge.
According to reports, the Federal Government is factoring the rate of suicide in the country into the design of the 2nd Niger Bridge. This was revealed after inspection of the bridge by the Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE). Engineers said that the bridge needed to be redesigned to avoid the same incidents recorded at the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos.
The new development was disclosed by the Federal Controller of Works in Anambra, Mr Adeyemo Ajani. In his statement, Ajani said the engineers were recommending a review of the walk lane of the bridge.
The 2nd Niger Bridge, which is currently under construction, is at 24% completion, Nairametrics learnt. At the time Vice President Yemi Osinbajo visited the bridge in May, the work level was 15%.
Ajani said, “What we have on the walk lane is our standard design but what the engineers are talking about is a kind of review. If we have to do abnormal design to take care of suicidal situations, it will require another design.
There has been rapid progress on the project. The last time the Minister and the Vice President came, it was 15 % level completion but today it is above 21%. When you look at it from the time the project started, we are now at 24% completion.
The main bridge has begun. We have done all the piling and the structures above water level have been done considerably. At the Asaba end, we have raised the structure to the deck up to 80%.”
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Meanwhile, the NSE Chairman for Abuja, Mr. Chinasaokwu Okoli, said what is needed to prevent suicide attempt at the bridge is a standard walkway of 1.5m high. This, Okoli said, would dissuade individuals with such thought.
The recommendation was a collective decision of 25 engineers from Abuja. And according to him, an attachment is needed to complement the 1.5m walkway.
“Our concerns are positive. All the places that could raise concerns have been properly tidied up… The only area we have concerned is the pedestrian walkway.
With what we are hearing about people jumping over the bridge and committing suicide, we feel it could be raised up a bit to make it a little difficult for those who may think of committing suicide here.
There should also be an attachment at the end of the 1.5m so that even if one wants to climb, he will be discouraged.”
Okoli said it’s sacrosanct for consultants and the contractors to brainstorm on the role of the bridge as it relates to suicide attempts.
What this means: Though the construction of the bridge is still on-going, it will cost the government more, if the walk lane is to be redesigned, as it has already been completed. This means it will be demolished and reconstructed.
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