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Nigeria to mend fences with Cameroon after Bakassi takeover with $39.9m border link bridge



Nigeria to mend fences with Cameroon after Bakassi takeover with $39.9m border link bridge

The Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved the award of a contract for the construction of a Cameroon-Nigeria border link bridge at the cost of $39.9 million.

This was part of the highlights of the meeting of the council presided over by the Acting President, Yemi Osinbajo, at the Presidential Villa, Abuja on Wednesday.

According to the the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, who briefed the media after the meeting with the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed and Minister of Environment, Mrs. Amina Mohammed; the council approved for the construction of the link bridge, at Ikot Efiom with support from the African Development Bank.

The project, he said, was meant to improve the relationship between Cameroon and Nigeria post the International Court of Justice’s judgement over Bakassi.

He said the approved bridge was part of the link road between Enugu-Abakiliki Way, which is already completed and part of larger Lagos-Mumbasa Highway.

”The $38m is for the construction contract and $1.9 million for the consultancy and that this was done under ADB procurement guidelines,” the minister stated.

On the Kaduna Eastern Bypass highway, which was started in 2002 and was initially planned to have been completed within three years, Fashola said the council had also approved its resuscitation and completion.

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He said the road was a 50 kilometre highway and dual carriage way with nine bridges over rivers and rail crossings, which was first awarded in 2002 at the cost of N16bn is now to go for N32bn.

“The contractor was paid N5.5bn in 2002. If we had paid the contractor N11bn then when exchange rate was N109, it would have fetched us $96m. If you multiply $96m today even at official rate of N305, it is now N29bn,” he stated.

The Information Minister stated that another important decision of the council was the reversed policy on environment, which was first formulated in 1991 and first revised in 1999.

But throwing more light on the development, the Environment Minister, Mrs. Mohammed, told newsmen that the idea of having an improved environment had become necessary with a new policy framework in place, adding that it woukd help in capturing some of the emerging issues that had developed since the last revision.

She listed some of the issues to include climate change, coastal erosion, desertification, erosion, pollution and insecurity.

The minister said, “What the policy does is to look at all the different inter-sectoral issues that we have whether it is with water, health, power agriculture and bring them in to have a multi-sectoral response.

“It went into an extensive stakeholder consultation, a greater part of the new policy environment sees partnership with the private sector and with the communities as absolutely essential to the sustainability of our environment.”

She said the new policy would provide better opportunity to engage with states, local governments and communities while emphasising the priorities of the change agenda.


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