The Senate on Wednesday passed a resolution inviting the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, to brief it on the recurring cases of collapse of bailey bridges across the country.
It did not, however, specify the day the minister was expected but called for the immediate replacement of all bailey bridges with permanent structures.
On a motion by Sen. Gilbert Nnaji (PDP Enugu East), the senate urged the Federal Road Maintenance Authority (FERMA) to urgently reconstruct the collapsed bridges.
While noting the inherent risk of letting the existing bailey bridges to be operational, the chamber directed its Committee on Works to undertake an inventory of all bailey bridges nationwide.
The committee is to ascertain the year of construction and current status of the bridges as some of them are more than 60 years old.
NAN reports that bailey bridges are a temporary bridge of lattice steel designed for rapid assembly from prefabricated standard parts, used especially in military operations.
In his remarks, Deputy President of the Senate, Ike Ekwerenmadu, who presided at the plenary, said that states and local governments should assist in reconstructing some of the bridges.
He said that some of the bridges were very small and could be handled by state governments, adding that he replaced one of the bridges when he served as a local government chairman.
Ekwerenmadu stressed the need for all bailey bridges to be replaced as they were only built as a temporary measure, not meant to permanently convey loads.
Nnaji who moved the motion, said that bailey bridges were developed and used during the Second World War and built in Nigeria during the pre-independence and post-independence era.
He said that the bridges, made from pre-fabricated metal were caving in due to pressure and age, causing loss of lives and hardship to residents who relied on them.
Other senators who contributed to the motion expressed concern that such bridges had not been replaced, adding that they were long overdue for replacement.
Meanwhile, the senate considered the report of the Committee on Ethics, Privileges and Public Petitions on a petition against the Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF) over wrongful termination of appointment of two staff members.
The upper chamber resolved that PTDF should reinstate the disengaged staff, Usman Pindar and Nasir Ahmed, noting that their record of service showed diligence and no reason for their sack.
Also, the Senate has passed the Bill on Constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999 (Alteration) (Portfolio Designation) Bill, 2015 sponsored by Sen. Theodore Orji (PDP Abia Central) for first reading.
Also passed for first reading was the Constitution Alteration Bill, 2015 sponsored by Senator Babajide Omoworare (APC Osun East).tweet Follow @@metrolens1