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Eleme Council Chairman Raise alarm over imminent collapse of Aleto Bridge on East-West road

The Executive Chairman of Eleme Local Government Council, Hon. Philip Okparaji.

Daniel Efe/Port Harcourt

Concerned motorists and the Executive Chairman of Eleme Local Government Council, Hon.Philip Okparaji have raised alarm over imminent collapse of the Aleto Bridge along the East-West road in Rivers State.

The local Government Chairman said because of the socio-economic importance of the Aleto Bridge that is the only link road to all the four local Government areas in Ogoniland like Tai, Gokana and Khana local Government areas and only route to over 200 companies, it is a matter of urgency for the bridge to be fixed.

Aleto Bridge along the Eleme axis of the East-West road is also the link road to Akwa-Ibom and Cross-River States in addition to over 200 companies operating in Eleme local Government area, especially the Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority, Onne, Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, Federal Ocean Terminal, FOT and Federal Lighter Terminal, Port Harcourt Refinery, Ndoroma Petrochemical Company among others.

The Eleme local Government boss also expressed frustration that he had officially written to the State, Federal Government and the Niger Delta Development Commission, NDDC, among others to urgently fix the bridge before it collapses and not only claim innocent lives, it will also collapse the economic activities of the aforementioned areas.

“I have written to relevant authorities on the state of the Aleto Bridge that can collapse any moment from now. As a local Government Council we do not have the kind of resources to fix the bridge. We are, therefore, calling relevant authorities too, because Aleto Bridge is like a dynamite waiting to explode.” Okparaji warned.

Also speaking when he led his Vice, Hon. Grace Osaronu and other Council officials on a visit to the management of Oil and Gas Free Zone Authority (OGFZA), the chairman lamented the deplorable state of the East -West Road, urging the Oil & Gas Free Zone Authority to do something quick on the bridge to avoid disaster.

He called on all the companies in the Onne Oil & Gas Free Zone and others outside to come together to see how the situation could be remedied since they have no alternative route if the bridge collapses.

Responding, the Managing Director, Oil & Gas Free Zone Authority (OGFZA), represented by the company’s Head of Operations and Technical Service, Mr. Adekunle Ajayi expressed the readiness of the Free Zone Authority to work with the local government council regarding all the issues raised.

Regarding the road and bridge, he said they were ready to synergize with other companies to ensure the road is fixed.

Photos of Aleto Bridge about to collapse.

Again, Chairman raised alarm over the near collapse of the Aleto Bridge located along the Eleme East-West road and calling on the Federal Government to immediately intervene and fix the bridge in order to avert an impending disaster.

The Chairman made the call during a one day Sensitization Programme on Communicating Government Policies, Programmes and Activities organized by the National Orientation Agency (NOA).

According to him, the state of the Aleto Bridge which links over 200 companies operating in Eleme to other parts of the country is dicey and requires very urgent attention.

According to him, despite the outcry he made to the NDDC and other government agencies, there has been no response. He further claimed that the Onne Port, which has not been in use is another Federal Government establishment which has been abandoned over the years.

He pleaded that the Onne Port be revamped so that there will be increase in employment opportunities, even as he also pleaded for immediate action from the Federal Government on the bridge adding that if nothing is done, the bridge might collapse any moment.

Vehicular as well as pedestrian movements along the Eleme-end of the East-West road may soon ground to a halt over the deplorable state of the Aleto Bridge linking Akpajo and Aleto, two communities in Eleme local government, Rivers State.

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The Aleto Bridge links the Akpajo side of the all-important commercial route to the mainstream Eleme that hosts key national assets that include; the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation, NNPC, Refinery at Alesa; the Onne Ports and the Naval College. The Eleme Indorama Petrochemicals Company Limited, located at Akpajo, depends also on the bridge to freight its products to Nigerian customers and the foreign market.

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