Abidjan-Lagos highway catalyst for regional integration, trade, says ECOWAS
The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has underscored the importance of the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Highway Development Project to regional integration, trade and sustainable development.
At the ECOWAS Spatial Development Initiative (SDI) workshop in Lagos to hasten the job, Head, Roads & Railways, ECOWAS Commission, Ashoke Maliki, said the gathering was to identify beneficial projects on the corridor and ensure their execution.
Initiated by presidents of Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire, the scheme had representatives of member-states at the workshop to review the report presented by the consultant, validate it based on their experience on the corridor and approve for investment.
Maliki added that the passageway would be of great benefit to the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA), as according to him, it would inter-connect major seaports in Abidjan, Tema, Lome, Cotonou and Lagos for free movement of goods, services and people.
Assistant Director, Highway Planning and Development, Federal Ministry of Works, Nigeria, Ebere Izunobi, in his contribution, said the 1,028-kilometre-long project would improve lives.
He explained that they are at the design stage and part of the components of the stage is the SDI, which is to collate all the projects involving individual companies, socio-economic activities along the corridor that is going to feed into the road and make it functional.
“ECOWAS commission who is coordinating the project decide to get a consultant to look at that SDI and estimate all the projects and its impact to the communities and improve the implementation,” he said.
He noted that funding would come from donor agencies like EU, AfDB, and member countries, added that the design stage which includes Environmental and Social Impact Assessment (ESIA), engineering design, project scoping and tender document, should be concluded by the end of the year.
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