Wike’s N14bn flyover collapses in Port Harcourt

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The 14 billion Rumuokwurusi-Elimgbu flyover being constructed by the governor Nyesom Wike’s administration has partially collapsed, sparking public fear.

The flyover which is the tenth flyover being constructed by the government is funded from part of the N25bn loan the Rivers State Executive Council approved on 27th September 2021 to be sourced from Zenith Bank.

Other projects funded from the loan include the Oyigbo-Afam Road, Chokocho-Igbodo Road and the law school.

The government had said the loan would be repaid within eighteen months from the State Internally Generated Revenue (IGR).

Construction giant, Julius Berger is in charge of the project.

“This loan has a repayment period of 18 months, with effect from October 2021, and to be completed in April 2023 from the State’s Internally Generated Revenue. The repayment period is N1, 547, 874, 350.66 monthly,” Paulinus Nsirim, the then commissioner for information said.

But the flyover still under construction partially collapsed as five of the hangers caved in on Saturday. No casualties was recorded.

An engineer working at the site said one of the operators of the excavator mistakenly hit the heavy duty equipment on the hangers. He added that the pillars are still intact.

He said the collapse will not affect the delivery of the project which is supposed to be ready for public use by October.

George Kelly, Wike’s commissioner for works could not be reached for comments as of the time of filing this report as calls and text to his phone were not answered but Dornubari Kiinee, his Special Assistant (Media & Documention) said what happened was an accident.

“What happened yesterday was not an issue of structural failure but was entirely an accident caused by some careless heavy equipment operators .

“Routine construction works were going on the site when an excavator horizontally collided with an already launched beam while trying to assist a tipper that got stuck. The beam moved out of place and made impact on other beams. This caused damage to the beams on that row.

“The erroneous narrative being propagated by mischief-makers is with the sole aim of causing unnecessary panic amongst unsuspecting members of the public.

“The good people of Rivers State should disregard it in its entirety because there is no cause for alarm whatsoever. The structural integrity of the 10th flyover is not in dispute in anyway. What happened was an avoidable incident caused by two careless equipment operators.

“To the glory of God there was no casualty. The management of Julius Berger has been swiftly notified by the Honourable Commissioner for Works; the damaged beams will be removed and new ones will be relaunched. There is no need for panic as the situation is fully under control”.