The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola has explained that the $36 million border bridge project linking Nigeria with the Republic of Cameroon will smoothen the free trade relationship under the African Continental Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA) signed by both countries.
Fashola disclosed this on Tuesday while inspecting the bridge project at the Ajassor border community in Etung Local Government Area of Cross River State.
He added that the project which has attained 99.9 percent completion would advance the actualization of the objective of the agreement.
Speaking at the inspection, Fashola added that the current administration 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,” Fashola said.
The Minister described the bridge as a social asset that would bring happiness and prosperity for Nigerians.
The two-lane 1.5 kilometer 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).