The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, on Sunday ordered the immediate closure of the damaged Apapa bridge for emergency maintenance work to begin.
The 40-year-old bridge links Nigeria’s premier port to both the Lagos Mainland and Island.
Addressing a stakeholders’ meeting in Lagos, Fashola said the closure of the bridge was a necessary measure as it would save lives and prevent avoidable mishaps.
“In a situation like this, we need to chose between inconvenience and safety. The first thing to do is to shut down the bridge for the sake of safety and I appeal to residents to bear with us,” he said.
Fashola said that Ijora/Marina-bound vehicles would be diverted to other routes to reduce inconveniences.
He expressed dismay at the long years of neglect that resulted to the dilapidation of the bridge.
“We are dealing with several decades of neglect and there are quite a few bridges across the country that are dying for maintenance and we have to take steps to fix them as soon as possible,” he said.
The minister also visited a meter manufacturing company in Lagos, urging electricity distribution companies to patronise local meter manufacturers.