The Senate, on Wednesday, mandated its Committee on Works to invite the Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, over the status of Bailey bridges nationwide.
Bailey bridges, made from pre-fabricated metal truss, developed and used during the Second World War, were built in Nigeria during pre-independence and post Civil War era.
They were used to provide temporary crossing for foot and vehicular traffic.
However, the bridges have either collapsed or caved in due to pressure and age, noted Gilbert Nnaji (PDP-Enugu East) who sponsored the motion titled: “Recurring Collapse of Bailey Bridges Nationwide.
Mr. Nnaji added that the collapse of the bailey bridges nationwide had caused “untold hardship to commuters, motorists and other road users.”
He cited the example of a collapse bridge across Ebonyi River along Ikem-Neke-Ugwuogo Road at Ikem-Uno in Izi-Uzo local government area of Enugu State.
“The attendant loss of lives and other forms of livelihoods, as well as other forms of economic deprivation and losses are avoidable if proactive steps are taken from time to time to either maintain or to reconstruct such bridges,” said Mr. Nnaji.
Following Mr. Nnaji’s motion, the Senate, therefore, mandated its Committee on Works to invite Mr. Fashola “to brief the Committee on a viable plan of action for the reconstruction of all Bailey bridges nationwide”.
Accordingly, the Committee is further mandated to “undertake an inventory of all Bailey bridges nationwide with particular attention to their year of construction and current status”.
The Committee has four weeks to report back to the Senate, Deputy Senate President, Ike Ekweremadu, who presided on Wednesday, ruled.