Nigeria’s Minister of Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola

By Andah John

The Nigerian government has earmarked N270 billion for restoration of over 50 bridges across the country in three years.

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Nigeria’s Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, made this known Tuesday as he inspected the rehabilitation works on the Lagos ring road bridge abutment and approach ramp to the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos.

The Lagos outer ring road links the Mainland to Victoria Island and Ikoyi. It is the beginning of the Third Mainland Bridge from the outer Marina.

Critical bridges get immediate attention

Fashola said government plans to begin with about N70 billion-N100 billion from the most critical bridges, to prevent their collapse.

“What had been happening was that government waits until the bridges get bad and fail, before getting to work.

”We intend to change that if we get cooperation from the parliament this year.

”You have seen what we have done with the Jaji Bridge in Kaduna State and also the picture of Tambuwawa Bridge in Kano, which the Federal Executive Council just approved money for.”

Fashola further said:“We have done our surveys and we are ready to go. We are only waiting for appropriation approvals because these kind of assets are difficult to rebuild again. Our obligations is to keep them in fair and useful maintenance so they achieve their usefulness.”

Fashola advises Nigerians

The minister, nonetheless, appealed to Nigerians to be more responsible with their use of national assets. He added that some habits under bridges and roads must stop in order to get maximum value.