Lagos-Abidjan road project ready for Presidents’ approval

After its fi nal adoption by Ministers of Infrastructure and Justice of the fi ve ECOWAS Member States in Accra over the weekend, the documents for the implementation of the 1,028-kilometre Abidjan- Lagos corridor road project is now ready to be presented to leaders of the fi ve nations for approval.

The Accra meeting which had in attendance Ministers from Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria and Togo was held last Friday to fi nalise and adopt the project’s two key documents.

The meeting was the third on the project following the resolve by leaders of the fi ve countries in February, 2013 to construct a six-lane Dual Carriage Highway from Abidjan in Cote d’Ivoire through Ghana to Togo, Benin and Lagos in Nigeria.

“The proposed Abidjan- Lagos Highway project is an important corridor for subregional trade and for Ghana, it is very critical because over 50 per cent of the corridor lies within our country,” Ghana’s Minister of Roads and Highways, Honorable Amin Amidu Sulemani said at the opening of the experts meeting.

The ECOWAS Commissioner for Infrastructure, Ebrima Njie said the two documents have undergone signifi cant revisions since the project as part of the process for its implementation.

“We have approached the African Development Bank for support in carrying out the feasibility and detailed design studies and the African Finance Corporation to provide fi nancing advisory services, “the commissioner said.

He also disclosed that ECOWAS has reached out to potential investment groups to assist in funds mobilization, private partnership and participation in the construction and management of the project.

He noted that signifi cant progress had been made since the inaugural and second meetings of the group in Abuja in April and July this year stating that “we must now work effectively to conclude the preparatory activities and documentation establish the necessary implementation structures and commence the implementation of the project.”

A meeting of the Steering Committee which comprises ministers of infrastructure and Public Works, chaired by Nigeria will take the next stage following the ministerial meeting.

The highway corridor is one of the major transport projects under the ECOWAS integration agenda and is expected to link the fi ve countries in an effort to ease the burden of traffi c for citizens in the region.

The one-day ministerial meeting reviewed the Terms of Reference for the feasibility and detailed design studies and the Treaty which defi nes the legal and institutional frameworks for the project.

The two documents were produced by a preceding threeday experts meeting of the fi ve countries also held in Accra last week.

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