In a significant development, President Muhammadu Buhari (retd.) officially commissioned the 1.2km Ikom Bridge, a project undertaken by his administration, with the aim of bolstering economic activities in Cross River State. The virtual commissioning ceremony took place in Ikom, Ikom LGA of the state, as President Buhari emphasized the positive impact the project would have on the economic prosperity of Nigerians. Notably, the recommendation for the bridge’s construction originated from the National Planning Commission several years ago.
President Buhari highlighted that the construction of the Ikom Bridge was necessitated by the limitations of the existing bridge and the crucial need for enhanced accessibility for heavy-duty trucks along the project corridor. Additionally, the bridge’s completion plays a vital role in ensuring the full functionality and accessibility of the Calabar seaport, airport, and free trade zone to traffic. The President emphasized the significance of these developments in driving economic growth and facilitating trade and commerce in the region.
The commissioning of the Ikom Bridge was part of a broader series of projects inaugurated on the same day. President Buhari unveiled a total of seven projects, which encompassed the commissioning of three federal secretariats, three bridges, and a road. The commitment to multiple infrastructure initiatives underlines the government’s dedication to promoting development across various sectors.
The newly commissioned Ikom Bridge is strategically located on a major South-North highway. President Buhari affirmed that the project would effectively reduce poverty levels in the state, particularly due to its connectivity with Benue State and other regions across the nation. Furthermore, the bridge’s construction facilitates shorter routes and addresses multidimensional poverty concerns, contributing to overall socio-economic development.
During the ceremony, President Buhari emphasized that most of the projects were financed with repatriated funds from overseas and the recovery of stolen assets from corruption cases. This approach ensures that resources are utilized for the benefit of the people, as the government focuses on uplifting communities and improving their quality of life.
The President received praise from Cross River State Governor, Prof Ben Ayade, who commended the Federal Government for the completion of the Ikom Bridge. Governor Ayade, represented by the state Commissioner for Works, Engr. Dane Osim-Asu, acknowledged the rehabilitation of nine out of the 13 trunk A roads in the state. However, he appealed to the Federal Government to extend its support to address the remaining four roads that are still in a state of disrepair. The governor stressed that the dilapidated road infrastructure has negatively impacted economic activities in the state.
The commissioning of the Ikom Bridge stands as a testament to the government’s commitment to infrastructure development and economic growth. The project’s successful completion will contribute to improved connectivity, enhanced trade opportunities, and a boost in socio-economic activities in Cross River State.
- President Buhari virtually commissions the 1.2km Ikom Bridge to enhance economic prosperity.
- The construction of the bridge addresses the need for improved accessibility for heavy-duty trucks and the functionality of key infrastructure in the region.
- The project is part of a series of seven commissions, including federal secretariats, bridges, and a road.