BY ABBA JOHN, Abuja
The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has disclosed that Federal Ministry of Works and Housing (FMWH) is currently rehabilitating or maintaining 37 bridges across the country.
The minister made this known Thursday when a delegation of the Council of Ohafia Monarchs and leaders of thought from Ohafia community in Abia State of eastern Nigeria, led by Chief Etigwe Uwa, paid him a courtesy visit and expressed their gratitude over federal government’s swift reconstruction of the old worn-out bridge across Nmuri River at Ebem which had cause fatal accidents and loss of lives in recent times.
In his response, the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, said that the completion of the abandoned Nmiru Bridge in Abia State, South Eastern Nigeria meant to bring succour to the road users in that area by faciltating free flow of traffic, and by implication, free movement of people, goods and services as well as journey time economy.
According to Fashola, the Nmuri bridge was one of the 37 bridges that the ministry was repairing and restoring, some of which have not received the so desired attention for the past five to six decades, even as construction of new bridges and roads continues, as part of the over 800 projects the ministry is executing across the country.
While stating their mission earlier, the delegation commended the federal government for expeditiously responding to their “save our souls” appeal over the state of Nmuri Bridge in Abia State, noting that their experience had shown that the President Buhari-led administration is responsive to the yearnings of citizens irrespective of tribe, region and religion.
Chief Uwa thanked the federal government through the Minister on behalf of the people of Ohafia in Abia state for the quick response in fixing the dilapidated old bridge.
He said, “In our experience, we saw good governance at work.”
“I contacted Honourable Minister on 30th January, 2021 and when I passed through that same bridge on 8th of February, 2021, work had already started.
“This has demonstrated that the government listens to the cry of the people. It is a clear testimony that we as a community cried to government and government has listened to us. We are very grateful as a community.”
They also called on the government to also expedite action on the construction of the federal road linking Ohafia, Bende and Umuahia which the Nmuri bridge is part of.
The appreciation letter was read by
His Royal Highness (HRH), Elder Emmanuel Kalu Onugu, on behalf of the people of Ohafia.
Other members of the delegation from Ohafia included HRH, Kalu Ikenga, Chief Awa Kalu, Chief Umeh Kalu, Mr Kalu Okpo Kalu, Mr Sunny Mbila, Architect Lucas Eme, Mr Sunday Idika, Ogbonna Kalu, Dr Eni Kalu and Mr Charles Nkata