The $36 million border bridge project linking Nigeria with the Republic of Cameroon is expected to smoothen the free trade relationship under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA) signed by both countries.Nigeria’s Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, said while inspecting the bridge project at the Ajassor border community in Etung Local Government Area of Cross River State that the project, which has reached 99.9 percent completion, would advance the actualization of the objective of the regional trade agreement.
Local media reports on Thursday quoted the Minister as saying that the Nigerian government plans to renew and expand old infrastructure that would take the two countries to the future for many more decades and strengthen the relationship between them.
“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.
“Nigeria is now a signatory to the Africa Continental Free Trade Agreement. So this is an infrastructure that positions both nations to take the benefit of the trade that the agreement holds,” the Minister said.
The two-lane 1.5km bridge project was awarded to CGCOG Group in the total sum of $35,836,552.38 paid equally by Nigeria and the Republic of Cameroon with a loan facility sourced from the African Development Bank (AfDB).