The Federal government of Nigerian has revealed its plans to curb suicide on the second Niger Bridge.
Engineer Adeyemo Ajani, the federal controller of works in Anambra, during an inspection of the on-going project at Ogbaru, said the the second Niger Bridge may be redesigned to prevent suicide attempts.
Ajani stated this on Saturday when the Abuja branch of the Nigeria Society of Engineers (NSE) inspected the on-going works at the Ogbaru site of the project, near Onitsha.
He said he would take up the NSE recommendation with the appropriate authorities.
“What we have on the walk lane is our standard design but what the engineers are talking about is a kind of review,” Ajani said.
“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 per cent level completion but today it is above 21per cent.
“When you look at it from the time the project started, we are now at 24 per cent 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 per cent.”
During the inspection earlier, Chinasaokwu Okoli, the NSE Abuja chairman, recommended a suicide-proof design of the pedestrian walkway of the bridge to prevent cases of suicide.
Okoli recommended a standard walkway of 1.5m high to discourage anyone who might want to jump from the bridge into the river.
“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,” he said.
“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 advised the consultants and the contractors to go back and try to reflect the concern that suicide attempts might be considered on the bridge if not raised.