The Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, has attributed the collapse of Mowo Junction bridge along Mokwa-Jebba road to forces of nature.
The Minister however said that, temporary measures were being taken to put the Mokwa-Jebba road back to use within 72 hours.
Fashola stated this while speaking with newsmen in Zaria, Kaduna State, on Sunday evening shortly after commissioning a giant transformer at TCN power station in Zaria.
According to him, the ministry has deployed its personnel and those of relevant agencies to make alternative but temporary measures around the collapsed bridge for motorists to start using the road within the next 72 hours.
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) had on Sunday morning alerted motorists over the collapse of the bridge after Mowo Junction on the Mokwa-Jebba road, due to heavy rainfall.
“The bridge collapse is part of the hazards that come with whether changes. All over the world we see them, mudslide, horicane, vocalno, windstorm, damaging public infrastructure. So, Nigeria is not exempted. We know this will cause some discomfort to commuters, for which we apologise for. It is an emergency and we are treating it as such. We are responding.
“A year ago, I think also on the 10th of June, Tatabu bridge also collapseed as a result of rising water level and heavy rainfall and we responded. We have fixed and recontructed a new bridge, which is bigger and better that the box cover that was there. We will do the same thing for what has happened in Mokwa.
“We have gained some experience, from our contractors to our staff, we know what to do and by the time I got aware of it early this morning, all our staff had started responding. It is very encouraging to me that we have built a team and a system that works.
“We have given instruction to our Director in charge of North Central zone to move to the place and work with the Controllers in Niger and Kwara state. We have also given instruction to the Federal Road Safety Corps, the Corps Marshal is on top of that, helping to manage the traffic on the Federal High way and divert traffic, especially heavy duty trucks carrying fuel, food items to North and South through that road.
“There would be discomfort without a doubt, but we will manage it and make it better day by day and in a couple of days, it should be better.
“We have also contacted the leadership of NUPEND and tanker Drivers to explain to their members of what has happened and what we are doing, so that they will bear with us during this period discomfort.
“Within the next 72 hours, I am sure, we will bring some stability and control to the place. The Zonal Director has our mandate to report to the Headquarters every 12 hours what is going on, so that we can measure progress. So, there is nothing to panic about. This is an incident that has happened as a result of forces of nature. Rainfall destroys our infrastructure, but it is also a blessing to our farmers and fishermen,” the Minister stated.