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HomeNewsBenue, Nasarawa traditional councils hail opening of Loko-Oweto bridge

Benue, Nasarawa traditional councils hail opening of Loko-Oweto bridge

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Benue and Nasarawa states traditional councils have commended President Muhammadu Buhari for the opening of the 2.2 km Loko-Oweto bridge.
The monarchs said the opening of the bridge linking the two states and the South East to the northern region had boosted agricultural production in their areas, reduced travel time, aided integration and checked insecurity.
The monarchs expressed their gratitude when the Ministers of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, Information and Culture, Lai Mohammed and Special Duties, George Akume inspected the bridge and road projects.
Speaking at the Oweto end of the bridge which is about 104km to Makurdi in Benue, HRH Dr David Onnah, the Adah Agatu (Head of Agatu Traditional Council) said a lot of development had been recorded in his domain with the opening of the bridge.
“We are delighted because there are lots of developments springing up in our areas. Before now, you hardly see people coming to Agatu because of bad road but today with the bridge and the road, people are trooping to our markets and vehicles are plying the road day and night. In agriculture, Benue is the food basket of the nation and Agatu in particular; we produce plenty of rice and yams. The road will enhance productivity and encourage people to farm more and boost the economy. Before now, leaving Agatu to Abuja will take up to eight hours, but today it is just two and half hours to get to the Federal Capital Territory. I have always joked with my people that we are now a little London; Agatu that was at the rear in those days has become the centre of Benue”.
Speaking in the same vein, HRH, Ahmed Umar, the Sarkin Loko in Nasarawa state said the construction and opening of the bridge had reintegrated the two communities and the two states at large.
He said they were now working together to ensure peaceful coexistence and development.
“President Buhari has made history because before now, the Agatu community cannot cross to our land and we cannot cross to theirs. With the construction of this bridge, we have been reintegrated and working together to ensure peace reign in our territories. The security agencies that are maintaining peace in the two states can now equally work together to maintain peace and fight terrorists, bandits and kidnappers”.
The monarch, who spoke through an interpreter, urged the president to establish Army Barrack in either side of the two boundaries to ensure lasting peace in the area.
The Vice Chairman of the Agatu Local Government Council, Hon. John Ikwulono said the bridge had made the sale of the farm produce of his people, who are predominantly farmers, very easy.
“The farmers can now boast of profits at the end of their harvest and the fishermen are also happy because people are coming from Nasarawa and Abuja and other parts of Nigeria to Oweto to buy their fish and agriculture produce”.
He appealed to the government for the speedy completion of the roads linking the bridge from Nasarawa.
The Loko-Oweto bridge over River Benue in Nasarawa and Benue states was awarded in November 2011 to Messrs RCC Nig. Ltd. at the cost of over N51.6 billion.
The construction of the bridge and the linking of the approach roads being financed with Sukuk loan has reached 97.3 per cent completion and opened for vehicular movement.
The 104km Oweto to Markurdi approach road to the bridge had been completed while the 76km Loko to Nasarawa approach road has reached 24 km completion.
Following the marching order by Fashola, the Gilto Construction Company handling Nasarawa approach road to the bridge has assured its completion before the end of the year when the entire project will be delivered.

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