Not less than 40 major bridges are under construction and repair across Nigeria, according to the the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola.
The Minister who revealed this during an inspection tour on the Loko-Oweto Bridge, said works on the bridges were ongoing in spite of government’s limited revenue.
The minister said apart from the Loko-Oweto bridge project, work was ongoing on the Second Niger Bridge, the Ikom Bridge and 37 other bridges in Nigeria.
He also listed Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos, Murtala Mohammed Bridge in Koton Karfi and the Isaac Boro Bridge in Port Harcourt, Chanchangi Bridge in Niger State and the Tambuwara Bridge in Kano as part of the bridges.
A statement issued by the Director of Public Relations, Ministry of Works and Housing, Boade Akinola on Sunday, quoted Fashola saying: “This government in spite of very limited resources and having to borrow is simply doing almost the near impossible in terms of infrastructure.
“Mr President continues to give his support and commitment to infrastructure. His understanding of the purpose of infrastructure for growth and development is very clear.”
The Minister further noted that the Loko-Oweto Bridge across the River Benue had offered a shorter route for travellers, reduced travel time significantly and enhanced wealth redistribution among the local communities.
“The (Loko-Oweto) bridge provides a shorter route, cutting off about four to five hours. For someone coming from Cross River to Abuja by road, ordinarily he will have to go from Calabar to Ikom, Ogoja to Katsina-Ala and then join Markudi, then through Lafia, Keffi and Akwanga into Abuja.
“But now you have a bifurcation through Oweto to Nasarawa.”
Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, who was also present during the inspection, affirmed that the projects are funded with loans collected by the Federal Government.
“Yes, we are taking loans. We are also making judicious use of the loans. And while these loans have a life span of 20 to 50 years, the roads we are constructing will have 50 to 60 years’ lifespan and outlive many of us,” he said.