A bridge connecting Nigeria and Benin Republic in Chikanda, Baruten Local Government Area, Kwara State, has collapsed after a several-hour downpour.

The international bridge was built in 2010 during the administration of former Governor Bukola Saraki.

According to reports, the development has stifled socioeconomic activities between the two countries along the border axis.

Mallam Lafia Gunu, a resident of Yashikira, a nearby town, said the situation was concerning because his mother, Hajia Halima Lafia, had traveled to Benin Republic and was now stranded there due to the collapsed bridge.

He urged authorities to repair the bridge as soon as possible and to provide an alternate route for commuters.

Some commuters have expressed a desire for both countries to intervene quickly in the interest of long-term business operations.

Alhaji Umar Usman Seriki, Emir of Yashikira, has urged the Federal Ministry of Works, the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA), and the Kwara State Government to assist those affected as soon as possible.

Speaking about the development, Engr Kayode Ibrahim, Federal Controller of Works, North Central, said the agency had already begun an assessment trip to determine the extent of damage and find a temporary solution.

The outcome of the visit, according to Ibrahim, will determine the next course of action.

He did, however, assure residents that an immediate solution would be provided due to the bridge’s economic importance to the two West African countries.

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