The two-lane Border Bridge over the Cross River at the Nigeria/Cameroon Border at Mfum/Ekok is officially commissioned today. The Joint Border Bridge is one of the projects under the Transport Facilitation Programme for the Bamenda-Enugu Corridor otherwise known as the NCMH&TFP.
Officials of the Federal Government of Nigeria and Cameroon yesterday inaugurated a newly constructed 1.5-kilometre joint boarder bridge at Mfum in the central part of Cross River State.
The $44 million bridge links both countries.
President Muhammadu Buhari and his Cameroonian counterpart, Mr. Paul Biya, were represented by the Nigeria’s Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Ambassador Zubairu Dada, and Cameroonian Minister of Public Works, Emmanuel Nganou Njoumessi.
The bridge, which has has two lanes, is located at the border towns of Mfum in Etung Local Government Area of Cross River State and Ekok in Cameroon.
Biya congratulated both countries for the completion of the project which started some decades ago.
He said: “The project illustrates the confidence that exists between the two neighbouring nations…
“The construction of the bridge over Cross River State is part of the transport facilitation programme on the Bamenda-Mamfe-Abakaliki-Enugu corridor. The corridor covers 441 kilometres of road and will contribute to facilitate trade and strengthen relations between Cameroon and Nigeria.
“Today, the Bamenda-Enugu corridor is fully tarred; so, one can comfortably drive from Bamenda to Enugu or from Yaounde to Abuja to cover 1,100 kilometres or do his business on either side.”
“It will further the Green Tree Agreement establishing the peaceful settlement of the Bakassi conflict,” he said.
The Nigerian government said the project would enhance trade and strengthen relationship between the two nations for the development of the African continent.
“This project is part of the ongoing Nigeria/Cameroon multinational highway facilitation programme and is a visible testament of the continuing cooperation and good neighborliness between our neighbouring countries.
“This bridge and post are proofs that when African countries work together with African institutions, outstanding height can be achieved in the shortest possible time.
“This project has the potential to enhance economic activities within our region and facilitate the free movement of persons, goods and services within the countries along the corridor,” President Buhari said.
The President, represented by the Minister of State, Foreign Affairs, Amb. Zubairu Dada, said the 1.5km project would enhance the interconnectivity of “our people & communities, improve living standards, reduce barriers to inter-regional trade & strengthen border security.”
Work and Housing Minister Babatunde Raji Fashola, who attended the event, said the Federal Government had delivered the project and acknowledged all the people who took part in making it a reality.
“This bridge is part of Route 8. It’s not just connecting Nigeria and Cameroon but we are trying to connect Lagos to Mombasa in Kenya, which is the significance of the bridge.
“The border bridge is one of the projects under the Nigeria-Cameroon Mix Commission and aimed at repairing the strained relationship between both countries following the Bakassi dispute,” he said.
Fashola said the project took off in April 2017 and was completed in May 2021.