By Daniel Tyokua
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said the construction of the Loko-Oweto Bridge across River Benue would offer shorter route for travellers and reduced travel hours.
He said the bridge was going to also help in boosting and redistribution of wealth in the local communities.
The minister stated this during an inspection tour to the project with his counterparts from ministries of Informational and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Relations, Senator George Akume.
A statement from the ministry’s Director press and public relations, Boade Akinola on Sunday, said the bridge will Provide a shorter route cutting off about four to five hours especially for those coming from Cross River to Abuja by road.
The statement said, “Apart from the Loko-Oweto Bridge project, work was going on at the 2nd Niger Bridge, the Ikom Bridge and 37 other bridges across Nigeria, were being constructed, repaired or rehabilitated by the Ministry.”
Fashola mentioned the 3rd Mainland Bridge in Lagos, the Murtala Mohammed Bridge in Koton Karfi and the Isaac Boro Bridge in Port Harcourt, as part of other bridges either being constructed, rehabilitated or repaired.
Others include the Chanchangi Bridge in Niger state, linking Niger and Ilorin and the Tambuwara Bridge in Kano.
In his remarks, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said with the completion of the bridge, the South-South and the South-East will be connected to the North.
According to him, the project would save five hours of travel time on the road. He said Benue state would automatically be the food storage of the Federation by drawing people from every part of the nation while generating economic growth on one hand it would advance social cohesion on the other hand.
On foreign loans, Mohammed said, “Yes we are taking loans. We are also making judicious use of the loans. And while these loans have a life span of 20-50 years, the roads we are constructing will have 50-60 per cent.
Also the Minister for Special Duties and Inter-governmental Relations, Senator George Akume urged the people to maintain peace and order among the various communities where the project is sited owing to the fact that the project was a huge one intending to serve not just Benue and Nasarawa states but also the larger Nigerian population.
The Loko- Oweto Bridge Project is 97.37% completed.