The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, has backed the passage of tough laws to ensure the protection of bridges.
This was as he warned Lagos residents against using under bridges as trading centres, reiterating that bridges were built for ease of vehicular movement, movement of goods and services, and for the benefit of humanity, not for commercial purposes.
The Minister stated this during the inspection tour of the recently burnt Eko bridge and at a press briefing on the rehabilitation and repairs of the Eko Bridge burnt section (Apongbon and Ijora Olopa section).
The former Lagos governor emphasised that stopping people from trading under the bridges was a collective task and effort.
As the government put laws asking people to stop selling under the bridge, buyers should as well automatically stop patronising sellers at such unhealthy locations.
He said, “If you don’t pass tough laws, things will not be done. You have our support. Under bridges are not places of cooking or residing place, and it’s not only endangering their lives but also the lives of other people. Illegal ways of living must be put to an end.
“We are appealing to the Lagos State government to ensure that all trading activities under the bridges in the state must, as a matter of urgency, be brought to a stop.
“We seek the cooperation of the Ministry of Transportation, Environment, and Local Government law enforcement agencies to help us preserve our bridges.”
Speaking also, the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Dr. Olufemi Hamzat, warned the citizens to desist from doing business under the bridge and live the right way for the interest of others.
According to him, the State government is willing to support in any way that will ensure quick compliance by citizens to stop the illegal use of the under bridges.
“The State Government will be available to monitor the process and provide assistance where necessary to ensure that the contractor has a smooth operation. In the aspect of people trading under the bridge, we will communicate with the appropriate department to ensure that the issue is addressed”, he said