Can someone please explain to me why we have not built a dozen pontoon bridges across the River Niger. You know, Bola Tinubu could etch his name in gold by doing this 

Ayo Akinfe 

[1] Nigerians are always quick to blame their governments for everything but sometimes you have to ask why can they not just get off their lazy backsides and do things themselves 

[2] Our Asaba to Onitsha river crossing is only one mile wide. Why do we need the government to build crossings for that short a distance? Nigerians have this fixation with the federal government, which has immensely curtailed our socio-economic development. There are many things local and state governments could easily do but do not because they have this mental obsession with Abuja 

[3] Historically, armies have always built bridges over rivers at war times. Called pontoon bridges, also known as a floating bridge, these makeshift contraptions uses floats or shallow-draft boats to support  continuous decks for pedestrian and vehicle travel

[4] Not exactly heavy duty, the buoyancy of the supports limits the maximum load that they can carry. This means that such bridges cannot for instance support railway lines but they can serve as emergency passages and say Christmas when the volume of traffic to eastern Nigeria is at its highest 

[5] Can I please ask the Obedient Movement what their plans were regarding the Asaba-Onitsha crossing were. Did they have any plans to build several more crossings?

[6] At the moment, the federal government is building the second River Niger automobile crossing but what stops the Anambra and Delta state governments from building six more of their own? No law in Nigeria prevents them from doing so

[7] When you look at the amount of money the five southeastern states could be generating if they had a railway link connecting Owerri, Enugu, Akwa, Abakaliki, Aba, Umuahia and Onitsha with Lagos, it is inexplicable that no one has done it yet. This is nothing but the poverty of thinking

[8] Just imagine the number of road accidents such a railway line would cut. Also consider the amount of goods and services that could be moved across the country and the income that could be generated if we had a 250km per hour high-speed Owerri to Lagos train that ran every hour

[8] Japan’s 53.85km Seikan tunnel is the longest and deepest rail tunnel in the world. It passes through Tsugaru Strait connecting the Hokkaido and Honshu islands

[9] London’s ongoing Crossrail project is 177km long and is estimated to cost about £18bn. Owerri to Lagos is 537km but it will now involve digging through a built-up city as we have with London Crossrail, so may actually cost less. For $20bn I am sure the project could be completed within five years

[10] There is nothing stopping the five states of the southeast from introducing a spare parts tax, payable by all working adults to fund such a venture. If you asked every adult in the southeast to pay an annual tax of say N5,000 to build this railway line, I am sure they would happily pay it. This is a tax that can easily be justified