The Federal government has reiterated its commitment to the completion of Nigeria-Cameroun border highway and also to ensure that bridges on its highways across the country receive necessary attention.
The Nigeria – Cameroon Multinational Highway and Transport Facilitation Programme for the Bamenda – Enugu Road Corridor was conceived as far back as 2002 to strengthen relations between Cameroon and Nigeria through the easier movement of people, goods and services across the border at Mfum/Ekok.
The project was also intended to facilitate growth of trade between countries of the ECOWAS sub-region with those of the ECCAS (Economic Community of Central African States) sub-regionand is being undertaken with funding assistance from development partners such as African Development Bank (AfDB) World Bank.
Speaking on progress recorded so far, Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, last week, sais that bridge is a common project to Cameroon and Nigeria, with both countries have equal funding responsibility to the bridge.
“Loan Border Bridge and Joint Border Post projects are common to Nigeria and Cameroon. The project when completed would be provided by a single border check, whereby if a passenger is checked in Nigeria, would not necessarily be subjected to another check when getting to Cameroun and vice versa”, he said.
He added that: “Another area of infrastructure which is dear to us in 2017 is how to put bridges on federal highways in a better condition, because many of them had suffered neglect in the past and now under severe stress.
He stated that inspection showed that Federal Bridges nationwide are in unsatisfactory condition, and reasons for this may be attributed to destruction by insurgents, willful damage by illegal under-bridge squatters, vandalization of bridge members and lack of routine and periodic maintenance, and so on.
“The ministry has crafted a nationwide bridge improvement programme to address problems on Bridges on the Federal road network. Given the enormity of the challenges vis-a-vis the available funding, the problems are to be addressed in the immediate, short and long term,” he said.