As Mbah Tasks FG On New Road Maintenance Model
A flyover bridge across the Enugu–Port Harcourt Expressway in Enugu New Artisan Market, Enugu State capital has collapsed with no casualty.
It was learned that the bridge caved in affecting two lorries conveying goods that were on the bridge when the incident occurred.
According to an eyewitness, drivers and conductors of the two lorries, escaped death by a whisker.
Further checks revealed that one lane of the dual-carriageway had been blocked by the debris of the collapsed bridge forcing motorists plying the road to divert through alternative routes for their journey.
Security operatives, officials of the Federal and Enugu State Ministries of Works, Federal Road Maintenance Agency, and Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC) were sighted within the area to assess the situation as well as to assist the road users plying the alternative routes.
Meanwhile, Governor Peter Mbah has called for a new road maintenance model to guarantee better condition and longevity of Nigerians roads, regretting that the current model had failed woefully.
Dr. Mbah made the call when he visited the site of the collapsed bridge between the New Artisan flyover and the NNPC Mega Station along the Enugu – Port Harcourt Expressway.
Fielding questions from newsmen after the first-hand inspection of the scene of the disaster, Mbah who thanked God that no life was lost despite the magnitude of the incident, urged the federal government to consider a concession of all the federal roads in each state to the state governments for proper maintenance in conjunction with the private sector.
“I think the question should be whether the current model of federal road maintenance is working or not; and I think that is the bigger question that we must ask.
“Today, we are here witnessing a tragedy that has just occurred. We are fortunate enough that no life was lost, but this could have been prevented entirely. So, the people can no longer ply this route because of this tragedy. This shows clearly that we do not have a sound federal road maintenance model.
“The bridge collapse didn’t just happen. These threats could have been identified if we had routine or regular maintenance.
“Perhaps the way to go is to find a way to concession these roads to the states. The states need to take charge of the roads within their domains and there has to be a conversation around the funding models”.
The said bridge collapsed on Monday, leaving commuters stranded.
Meanwhile, in a statement signed by the Enugu State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Engr. Gerald Otiji, the government has advised commuters to use Nza Street through New Haven or ply Ogui Road and Abakaliki Road to their various destinations, while the authorities come up with measures for immediate repair of the failed section of the bridge.