Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola says the Nigeria-Cameroon bridge will facilitate free trade.
Gatekeepers News reports that the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola said the newly constructed 1.5km, the two-lane bridge on the border between Nigeria and Cameroon will facilitate free trade.
Fashola said this on Monday while inspecting the newly constructed double lane bridge on the border in Ekot-Mfum, Etung Local Government Area of Cross River.
The construction of the bridge which began on April 28, 2017, was completed in March 2021 at the cost of $35.9 billion which was funded by both countries.
Fashola noted that the construction of the bridge will also strengthen relations between both countries and improve cross-border security. ”This is the first shoot of the harvest of completed projects proposed as the administration enters the second phase of the second term on its way out.”
The Minister added that the plan to renew and expand old infrastructure would take the two countries to the future for many more decades and also strengthen the relationship between them.
Fashola said, “We have had a strong relationship with the Republic of Cameroon in terms of trade and business.
“If you go to Aba, Enugu, and Abakaliki for example, I can tell you that they are on the route that facilitates trade in agro-produce, merchandise, and manufactured goods from Aba in Abia state.
“You can only expect that this will improve joint border patrol, ensure security, more efficiency which you see from the first buildings formed out of the integration of ECOWAS and sister nations of what the continent should look like.
“Nigeria is now a signatory to the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement. So this is infrastructure that positions both nations to take the benefit of the trade that agreement holds.
“It is really exciting. Looking into the future you can only see more business, more trade, and employment meant for people.”
The minister while speaking on revenue generation, said, “These are social assets and we must understand that the recurpment is the happiness and the prosperity of the people of Nigeria.
“The prosperity of the people is the reason why President Muhammadu Buhari is pushing this infrastructure renewal.
“For as long as our people are happy, they can travel easily, they can reduce their journey, safe time on the road because if you save time you save money, and am sure the President is delighted.”
Chairman, Etung Local Government Area, Henry Etuk said the people are pleased with what the Federal Government of Nigeria had done.
Etuk while reiterating that the new bridge would bring about better trade among the people of Nigeria and Cameroon, said the ease of movement and trade would go a long way to improve relationships and foster development in the area.
A community leader, Victor Njor while commending the government for building the bridge, said it would strengthen efforts at ensuring better security because of the joint border patrol.