The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, has said the
Loko-Oweto Bridge project had reached 97.37 percent completion stage.
The statement issued by the Director Press and Public Relations, Ms. Boade Akinola, in Abuja on Monday night, quoted Fashola as speaking during an inspection tour to the project at the weekend.
He inspected the bridge alongside his counterparts from ministries of Informational and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Relations, Senator George Akume.
Fashola said project had offered shorter route for travellers , reduced travel hours to its barest minimum and facilitated redistribution of wealth in the local communities.
He said: “ Loko-Oweto provides a shorter route cutting off about four to five hours. For someone coming from Cross River to Abuja by road, ordinarily will have to go from Calabar to Ikom, Ogoja to Katsina-Ala and then join Markudi, come through Lafia then Keffi and Akwanga into Abuja; but now you have a bifurcation through Oweto to Nasarawa.”
Apart from the Loko-Oweto bridge project, Fashola said 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 his ministry.
According to the minister of Works and Housing, some of the bridges being constructed, rehabilitated and repaired were: the 3rd Mainland Bridge in Lagos, the Murtala Mohammed Bridge in Koton Karfi and the Isaac Boro Bridge in Port Harcourt.
Others were Chanchangi Bridge in Niger state and Ilorin and the Tambuwara Bridge in Kano.
Fashola further said: “This government in spite of very limited resources and having to borrow is simply doing almost the near impossible in terms of infrastructure.
” Mr. President continues to give his support and commitment to infrastructure. His understanding of the purpose of infrastructure for growth and development is very clear”.
Speaking earlier, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, said the completion of the bridge, the South-South and the South-East will be connected to the North and this 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 50-60years lifespan and outlive many of us”.
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.