Buhari: Infrastructure important for poverty alleviation

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By Christian Njoku

President Muhammadu Buhari has said that infrastructural development is important for poverty alleviation.

The president stated this on Tuesday during the inauguration of the 360 metres length Ikom Bridge in Cross River.

The inauguration, done virtually from the Council Chamber in Abuja, also saw the opening of six major projects by the outgoing administration including the Second Niger Bridge and Loko Oweto Bridge.

National growth LS

Others include the Abuja- Kano Highway and three Federal Secretariats in Bayelsa, Anambra and Zamfara.

Buhari said without investing in infrastructure, coming out of poverty would be much tougher.

“The projects we inaugurate today, embody the country’s focus on delivering prosperity; they are frontal efforts to address multi-dimensional poverty instead of lamenting about it.

“The Ikom Bridge will boost trade in and around the Calabar Port and Free Trade Zone and facilitate transport connectivity from the South South, through the North Central to the North East.

“These bridges are bridges of connectivity and integrity across major rivers of commerce like the River Benue, River Niger and Cross River, they will reduce travel time, improve business efficiency and service delivery,” he maintained.

On his part Gov. Ben Ayade of Cross River said for a long time, the people had clamoured for a new bridge to ease transportation and business challenges.

Represented by Mr Osim Asu, the State Commissioner for Works, Ayade said the old Ikom Bridge was built in the 1970s but today had become an impediment to effective transportation of goods from the Calabar Port due to its low head way.

While appreciating the Federal Government for the completion of the new Ikom Bridge, the governor also used the opportunity to appeal for the rehabilitation of some other federal roads in the state to ease transportation challenges.

Similarly, the Obong of Calabar, Ekpo Okon Abasi Otu, commended the Federal Government while emphasising the importance of the new Ikom Bridge to Cross River.

The traditional ruler, who was represented by Mr Edem Ededem, a member of the Obong’s Council of Chiefs, said the economic value of the bridge could not be over emphasised.

He added that the people of the state would enjoy free flow of movement within Cross River and from the state to the northern part of the nation.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 360 metre long Ikom bridge and 1.2 kilometre road cost N8.9 billion.

The construction of the bridge commenced on Oct. 8, 2018 and was completed on Nov. 7, 2021 by Messrs Setraco Nigeria Limited. (NAN

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