Newly-constructed double Lane Bridge at Ekot-Mfum, Nigeria
By Hope Nda
The Republic of Cameroon and the Federal Republic of Nigeria have reinforced trade and collaboration ties, after finalising a 1.5kmdouble-lane bridge linking both countries.
The bridge, which was jointly sponsored by the two neighbours at the sum of FCFA 19.9B (35.9 million US Dollars) links Nigeria’s border locality, Mfum in Etung Local Government Area, Cross River State, with other towns along the Ekok-Enugu highway.
During an inspection visit on Monday at Ekot-Mfum, Nigeria’s Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said the construction of a new 1.5-kilometre double lane bridge will facilitate free trade.
Nigeria-based Vanguard news outlet reports that construction of the bridge began on April 28, 2017 and was completed in March 2021 at the cost of $35.9 billion.
Apart from enhancing bilateral trade, Nigeria’s Minister Fashola says the construction of the bridge is also expected to 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,” he 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,” he added.
The African Development Bank (AfDB), which is one of the major financing partners of the Cameroon-Nigeria road construction works, said the Cameron-Enugu stretch will be finalised by the end of this year.
In March 2007, Cameroon and Nigeria signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) seeking funds from the bank and other development partners to execute the road transport corridor.
The projects were designed to strengthen trade and cooperation between the two countries.