Jebba Bridge

Jebba Bridge over the Niger river

This threepenny stamp shows the first Jebba Bridge   in 1910. The bridge built across the River Niger made it  possible to travel for the first time by rail from Lagos in the far south,  to Kano in the north. A narrow gauge steam locomotive engine runs along the bottom of the stamp and British imperial rule  is reflected in  the crown of Queen Elizabeth II, floating on steam from the engine.

The commercial success of the  British Empire was powered by the railways that carried agricultural produce, and heavy minerals to the coast for export. Personnel and smaller volumes of  manufactured goods travelled in the opposite direction.

The  island at the centre of the stamp, is the original settlement of Jebba,  hub of the kingdom of the  Nupe people,  which flourished in the 1500’s .  Today most of the town is built on the south bank of the River.

The first Jebba Bridge was upstaged in the mid 1970’s by  a highway bridge reflecting the massive expansion in motor traffic.  As the railways declined the 1910 railway bridge was barely used. In 2010  the government began to rehabilitate  the railway system which on completion will bring a new lease of life to the  Jebba Bridge.

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7 responses to “Jebba Bridge”

  1. Henry Ekwonna says :

    I want to know more about jebba and the bridge.

    • francinea2004 says :

      hi henry
      In Nigeria, there are just two bridges across the Niger River, third largest in Africa, because it is so wide. One is in the South at Onitsha, before it transforms into a mass of creeks and one of the largest mangrove swamps in the world. The second is where the large island of Jebba made it possible to build a bridge in two segments- one span from the south bank to the island and the other from the north bank to the island. It is the longer southern span that is called Jebba Bridge. Jebba is also the burial place (with tourist monument) of Mungo Park, a Scottish explorer who was shipwrecked as he attempted to chart the route the river takes from its origins in the Republic of Guinea.

  2. aremu olaide says :

    I want to know the challenges that those constructed jebba bridge face before completion of the bridge.

    • francinea2004 says :

      hi
      the truth is I don’t know but the initial thoughts of the colonial government was that the cost £90,000 cost was too much for such undeveloped provinces i.e. Northern & Southern Nigeria. and they seriously considered using a ferry. ref: The Colonial Office and Nigeria, 1898-1914 By John M. Carland (googlebooks)

  3. Adeboye Grace Oyeladun says :

    What is the date that mungo park said the bridge will collapse

    • francinea2004 says :

      Hi Grace
      I am sure Mungo Park would not have imagined a bridge being there. His knowledge of the geography of the area reached by the Niger was limited He thought the river was a tributary of i.e. emptied into the River Congo. Mungo Park hoped to return to Europe with proof of this, by sailing it to the Congo i.e. Zaire. Today we know that this was completely impossible. Park is said to have had no relationships with the tribes who lived on the banks of the Niger. As a result they attacked the boat as it went by. It is said that their boat struck a rock at Bussa and was stuck fast. Local tribesmen came out and shot arrows at them from the shore, until Mungo Park and his fellow travellers were forced to leap out of the boat. Hoping, no doubt to reach the other shore, they drowned in the fast flowing river. Only a slave survived to tell the story.

  4. AdeolaHadey says :

    The bridge also serves as a symbol of segregation between kwara and Niger states, as it run over the famous river Niger. it would be a great place to visit if the roads linking to it are well rehabilitated.

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