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Enugu Reps urge immediate Federal action on collapsed bridge and South East roads 

The Enugu House of Representatives caucus, led by Mr. Nnoli Nnaji representing Nkanu East/West Federal Constituency, has appealed to the Federal Government for swift action in reconstructing the collapsed bridge on the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway.  

The News Agency of Nigeria reported that the caucus members made the call during their visit to the site of the bridge collapse at the New Artisan section of the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway on Wednesday in Enugu. 

Furthermore, the House members also called on the Federal Government to address the deteriorating condition of roads in the South East region by declaring a state of emergency on infrastructure.  

Other House members who accompanied the visit included Mr Stainless Nwodo, representing Igboetiti/Uzouwani Federal Constituency; Mr Chimaobi Atu, representing Enugu North and South; and Mr Obi Aguocha, representing Ikwuano/Umuahia North and South Federal Constituency.  

Urgent call for intervention 

Nnaji, who chairs the House of Reps Committee on Ports and Harbours, expressed concerns about the hardships faced by the people and travellers in the state since the bridge collapse and emphasized that only urgent intervention from both the federal and state governments could address the situation.  

He highlighted the bridge’s significance as a crucial connection between Enugu and Rivers State, serving both the South-East and South-South regions.  

Nnaji mentioned that he had already discussed the situation with the Chairman of the House Committee on Works adding that he was aware that Governor Peter Mbah had reached out to Senator Dave Umahi, the Minister of Works, regarding the incident.  

He stressed the urgency and national importance of this development, noting that the caucus would bring it to the attention of the House when they reconvene on Tuesday. 

What Nnaji said:  

  • “The matter has been communicated to the presidency and we are so concerned about the development considering the aggressive infrastructure being carried out by the Enugu State Government. 
  • “We are going to tackle the challenge. So we have seen it and observed it. 
  • “Possibly from a layman’s view, the influence from where they are doing abattoir that eats up the soil apparently led to the shift of the foundation of the bridge. But engineers will tell us more.”  

Nnaji highlighted the road’s importance, particularly for travellers coming from Abuja, and pointed out that the incident occurred at the starting point of the Enugu-Port Harcourt Expressway.

He suggested that this could be an opportunity to conduct integrity tests on all older bridges and flyovers, considering that the road was built in the 1970s.  

  • In his words, “The road was built in the 1970s and I also believe this is an opportunity for us to do integrity test in all the bridges and flyovers that was built a long time ago.” 

Commitment to expedited repair  

The lawmaker appealed to the state’s residents, particularly those who use the road, for their understanding. He reassured them that they would utilize their influence to expedite the rapid repair of the bridge.  

  • He went on to emphasize their commitment, stating, “So, we are going to escalate this issue beyond what you think at the floor of the House and to the federal government to come to our aid and reconstruct this bridge as it is affecting businesses, development and many other projects in Enugu.”  

In his statement, Aguocha, representing Ikwuano/Umuahia North and South Federal Constituency, explained that he had joined the delegation to provide support when the matter was discussed in the legislative assembly.  

He underscored the significance of Enugu as the capital of Igbo land and pointed out that events in Enugu had a cascading effect on the entire region.

Additionally, he acknowledged that the bridge’s collapse was causing considerable distress for Nigerians using the road. 

  • “As such, anything that happens to Enugu happens to everybody in Igboland and the collapse is causing a lot of stress to Nigerians plying the road,” Aguocha said. 

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