The Senate on Wednesday urged the Federal Ministry of Works to immediately begin the reconstruction of the collapsed bridge at the Enugu end of Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway.
The Senate’s directive was sequel to the adoption of a motion at plenary on Wednesday.
The motion, treated under ‘urgent matter of public importance’, was sponsored by Sen. Osita Ngwu (PDP-Enugu) and co- sonsored by Sen. Victor Umeh (LP- Anambra), Sen.Kelvin Chukwu (LP-Enugu) and Sen.Okechukwu Ezea (LP- Enugu).
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Ngwu, who in his lead debate, recalled the September 25 tragic collapse of part of the Enugu-Port Harcourt expressway flyover, however, noted that there was no human casualty.
According to him, the bridge which serves as a major link between the Enugu- Port Harcourt expressway for commuters from Port Harcourt, Aba, Umuahia, and Abakaliki, also provides access to vehicular movement from Onitsha-Enugu expressway.
He expressed his displeasure over the current road infrastructure maintenance model.
The Senator said early signs of the collapse would have been detected for immediate repairs before the eventual tragic incident.
He said that the temporary diversion of vehicular movement into the city centre would only worsen the already precarious traffic situation within the city metropolis.
Ngwu expressed concern that the collapse of the important flyover bridge had become a nightmare to road users and threat to the socio-economic life of the people.
The lawmaker said that any delay in the rehabilitation of the critical public infrastructure might worsen the already precarious socio-economic challenges of not just Enugu State, but the entire South -East zone.
For Sen. Ezea, the bridge was a strategic infrastructure serving the entire nation.
He said the bridge served as access route that conveyed all petroleum products, fertilizer and food items from Port-Harcourt and other parts of the country.
He expressed concern that the consequent implication of the collapsed bridge might bring about a breakdown in economic activities in the axis.
Sen. Adeola (APC-,Ogun), in his contribution, said the collapsed bridge had become a major infrastructure challenge in Nigeria.
Adeola noted that there was a need to capture the project in the 2024 budget to avoid rendering any resolution of the Senate ineffectual.
Sen. Abdullahi Yahaya (PDP-Kebbi) urged senators from Enugu State to present a comprehensive report on failed roads and collapsed bridge infrastructure in the state to the Senate ad-hoc committee on collapsed road infrastructure to be properly captured in the 2024 budget.
The Senate therefore urged the Federal Government to provide urgent intervention fund to the Ministry of Works for the rehabilitation and maintenance of critical road infrastructure in the country, ahead of the upcoming dry season.
Senate President Godswill Akpabio in his remarks, assured that remedial works would be done on the collapsed bridge, while major reconstruction would be included in the budget. (NAN)