The Ngueli Bridge that links the Logone and Chari in Cameroon to Ngueli in N’Djamena Chad has been closed.
The decision for the closure was taken unanimously by the governments of both countries.
Before it’s total closure, the bridge had been inactive for close to 8 months due to the spread of the Covid-19 pandemic.
Prior to the closure of the said bridge Linking the two countries, it had been a busy line through which business persons carried out their transactions between Kousseri and N’Djamena.
About 50 trucks crossed the bridge on a daily basis to and from Kousseri as the town had become the main economic center of the Far North Region, officials have said.
Business persons in the Far North Region have had to close up their shops as an effect to the closure of the hitherto busy bridge.
Local trader, El Hadji Issa says the closure of the bridge has completely depleted his business to the point of closure as he no longer has access to N’Djamena, from where he buys his merchandise.
“We have been like this since the closure of the bridge. No work. We can no longer go to N’Djamena. That is where goods coming from Dubai which we retail are found. And you know the customers are always in need of new merchandise. Due to this most of us have locked up our shops and gone back to the house” he complained.
Abakar Moussa, another trader equally complains of similar situations that have had to force him to seal his shops and hand the keys back to the landlords.
“You cannot afford to pay rents to shops of 60,000 frs per month and come on a daily basis to sell 2000frs or even 1000 frs. This is also in addition to the Electricity bill and for me with 7 children at home, what am I expected to do now?” he lamented bitterly.
The bridge closure has however not only had an effect on business persons only. Even security personnel who operated on the bridge alongside custom officers who often made good money from pedestrians who had no National ID cards have equally lost considerable income sources.
However, complete access has not been blocked as trucks with perishable foodstuffs as well as students from Chad attending the University of Maroua are the only authorized users of the bridge so far.