By Muhammad Adam
The North East Development Commission (NEDC) says it has taken over the reconstruction of major bridges destroyed by Boko Haram insurgents in the North-East.
Mr Mohammed Alkali, the Managing Director of the commission, disclosed this during the inauguration of the commission’s infrastructure reconstruction and rehabilitation projects on Tuesday in Yola.
Alkali said that the 12 years of insurgency in the region had affected commerce, following the destruction of markets, roads and bridges as well as public sector infrastructure.
He said the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing had awarded numerous contracts for the rehabilitation and reconstruction of roads in the region.
The managing director said that the execution of the projects was very slow due to poor funding and insecurity in the region.
“Under the intervention, the commission has taken up the responsibility for full funding and reconstruction of some major bridges destroyed by insurgency in the region.
“The first project to benefit from this co-funding collaboration is the reconstruction of three bridges at Kudzum, Dilechim and Wuro Ngayandi all in Adamawa.
“The commission will, as part of the collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, also construct additional three bridges on the newly awarded 80 kilometre Jabbi Lamba-Belel road contract,” Alkali said.
He said that the reconstruction of the bridges would restore trade links between Adamawa and Borno as well as boost trades with Cameroon Republic.
Alkali said the commission had apportioned 647 projects across the states in the region in the education, agriculture and health sectors.
The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN), said several schemes had been evolved by the current administration to close the funding gap required for road projects in the country.
Fashola, represented by Mr Emmanuel Adeoye, Director Highways Bridges and Design, listed the scheme as Sukuk Funds, Tax Credit Scheme and Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF).
He said the Chinese Exim Bank loan was one of the schemes, and added that more funds were still needed to cater for road infrastructure deficit across the country.
He said the ministry had approached the NEDC for partnership to improve the quality of road infrastructure in the zone.
“The NEDC an agency of the Federal Government mandated to rebuild the region gladly accepted to collaborate with the ministry to co-fund road projects in the zone.
“This laudable partnership has given birth to the co-funding of any federal highway in Adamawa,” Fashola said.
In his remark, Gov. Ahmadu Fintiri of Adamawa, described the beginning of the projects as a manifestation of good working relationship between federal and state agencies. (NAN)