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Nigeria-Cameroon border bridge will facilitate free trade – Fashola

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Nigeria-Cameroon border bridge will facilitate free trade – Fashola

By Perpetua Onuegbu

The Minister of Public Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, said that the construction of a new double-track bridge on the border between Nigeria and Cameroon will facilitate free trade.

Fashola said this on Monday during the inspection of the new 1.5 km two-lane bridge at the Nigeria-Cameroon border at Ekot-Mfum, in the Etung local government area in Cross River.

The Nigerian News Agency (NAN) reports that construction of the bridge began on April 28, 2017 and was completed in March 2021 at a cost of $ 35.9 billion.

Funding for the project was provided by the two countries.

According to the minister, the construction of the bridge will also strengthen relations between the two countries and improve cross-border security.

“This is the first part of the harvest of completed projects proposed as the administration enters the second phase of the second term about to come out,” he said.

Fashola said the administration’s plan to renew and expand old infrastructure would take the two countries into the future for many decades to come and strengthen relations between them.

“We have had a solid 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 road which facilitates the trade of agricultural products, goods and manufactured goods from Aba in Abia state.

“You can only expect this to improve the joint border patrol, provide security, more efficiency than you see in the early buildings formed from the integration of ECOWAS and sister nations of what the continent should look like.

“Nigeria is now a signatory to the African Continental Free Trade Agreement. It is therefore an infrastructure that allows the two countries to benefit from the trade provided for in the agreement.

“It’s really exciting. Looking ahead, you can only see more business, more commerce and more jobs for people, ”said Fashola.

Regarding income generation, the minister said the bridge is a social asset and the happiness and prosperity of Nigerians is enough payment.

“These are social assets and we must understand that the return is the happiness and prosperity of the Nigerian people.

“The prosperity of the people is the reason why President Muhammadu Buhari is pushing this infrastructure renewal.

“As long as our people are happy, they can travel easily, they can reduce their commute, save time on the road because if you save time you save money and I am sure the president is delighted,” he said. he added.

Mr. Henry Etuk, chairman of the Etung local government area, said the people were happy with what the federal government had done.

Etuk reiterated that the new bridge will lead to better trade between the people of Nigeria and Cameroon.

He said the ease of movement and trade would go a long way in improving relations and fostering development in the region.

A community leader, Mr. Victor Njor, praised the government for the construction of the bridge, saying it will step up efforts to provide better security through the joint border patrol. (NAA)

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