Minister of works and housing Babatunde Fashola (SAN) has said that the completed border bridge at Mfum community between Nigeria and Cameroon and the Ikom Bridge would facilitate international trade between the two countries when inaugurated.
Fashola made the remark while inspecting the two-lane bridge over the Cross River at the Cameroun and the Nigeria new border at Ekok /Mfum and the new Ikom Bridge in Cross River State.
“This is the A-4 Axis coming from Calabar to Maiduguri through Ogoja to Katsina-Ala. So you will expect more volume of trade. And it is no accident that Cross River State bears its name. It is actually the River that named the state.
“That River opens to the sea and the Gulf of Guinea. And a high impact on international trade is expected.
“We have had very strong relationship with Cameroon in terms of trade and business and if you go to Aba, Enugu, Abakaliki, for example, this is the route that facilitates trade, agro produce, merchandise, manufactured goods from Aba in Abia State,’’ he said.
The minister explained that the President Muhammadu Buhari led administration’s strategy of planning and execution of infrastructure projects was yielding results through successful completion.
He stated that this is a very strategic infrastructure to take Nigeria to the future for many more decades to facilitate relationship between brothers and sisters in Cameroon and Nigeria and to strengthen the bond of relationship in a joint development with the Republic of Cameroon and Nigeria. He added that we are now entering the season of completion of infrastructure projects.
Cross River State governor, Professor Ben Ayade who was represented by the state commissioner for works, Engr Dane Osimasu said the minister is committed to road development in the state. He assured the minister that counterpart funding from the state would always be provided where it is necessary in infrastructure development projects.
The director highway bridges and design Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Engr Emmanuel Adeoye said that the project was awarded in October 2018 and is due to finish by 7th November, 2021.
The director said, “The rate at which the contractor is working, by the end of October it should be finished. Right now, the job is ninety two percent (92%) completed, with the time lapse of sixth eighth percent (68%).