(Business in Cameroon) - Cameroon and Nigeria recently issued a joint call for tenders to recruit an independent consultant to design a border bridge between Mfum (Nigerian side) and Ekok (Cameroonian side), over the Bamenda-Mamfe-Ekok (203 km) in Cameroon and Enugu-Abakaliki-Mfum (238 km) in Nigeria corridor.
A common component of this corridor is the construction of a bridge over the Cross River, including its access roads between Ekok and Mfum with a span of 403 ml. The specific objective assigned to the consultant to be retained is to review the design of the new bridge to verify its adequacy and effectiveness. Applicants have until July 27 to submit their applications for the project scheduled to be completed within 4 months.
The region concerned by this project has potential cash crops, forestry and fisheries, mining, as well as tourism resources. However, the development of these resources and the development of the region are essentially hampered by the current poor traffic conditions and high rainfall (about 3,400 mm/year in Mamfé and 2,000 mm/year in Batibo).
For instance, on the Mamfé-Ekok (70 km) track, the cost of transporting one person varies between CFAF2,000 and 3,000 in the dry season and increases to CFAF5,000 during the rainy season (i.e. about 9 months per year). This cost rises to CFAF15,000 when travelling by motorcycle. Those who come from the Mfum side also complain about high transport costs. A situation that the Cameroonian and Nigerian sides want to change by building a border bridge to boost trade.