OAD Ministers To Supporting Lagos 6-Lane Dual Carriage Highway Project

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High Table
High Table

ECOWAS has organized the sixteenth (16th) Project Ministerial Steering Commitee on the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Highway Project in Abuja, Nigeria on 3rd June 2022 in a bid to fasttrack necessary process towards the development and delivery of the important Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Highway.

The Project technical studies suffered major delays as a result of lockdowns and border closures during the hieghts of the COVID-19 Pandemic. Key among the objectives of the Sixteenth (16th) Steering Committee meeting was therefore to review practical ways of expediting the implementation of the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Highway project which involves the finalization of the technical studies to aid the construction of a 3-lane dual carriage highway.

The Ministers also considered the enourmous investment interest received from participants at the Project market pitch delivered at the March 2022 African Investment Forum Boardroom, the estabslishment of the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Management Authority (ALCoMA) and other technical recommendations from the preceeding Committee of Experts meeting.

Welcoming Ministers and participants to the meeting, the ECOWAS Commissioner for Infrastructure, Mr. Pathe Gueye recalled key conclusions of the October 22, 2022 virtual Steering Committee which included the endoresment of the draft reports of the techno-economic feasibility and preliminary design studies.

He added that “the past two days have enabled project Engineers and Directors from the five corridor countries, ECOWAS and the African Development Bank (AfDB) to take stock of the decisions taken at the last meeting of the steering committee, the progress of all project components, the tolloing system to be adopted for the highway, overload control, right of way aquisition and concerns regarding contracts extension for the technical studies.”

He explained further that the Abidjan-Lagos project, remains a flagship project for the ECOWAS Commission, and recently attracted the interest of several investors during the last Africa Investment Forum with the AfDB Group and other major public investors such as the European Investment Bank (EIB) as well as private equity funds expressing their full support for the project and have committed to organizing a second forum in the near future with greater involvement of the private sector to examine new financing options.

The Project Task Manager of the African Development Bank, Mrs. Lydie Ehouman, thanked the ECOWAS Commission for organizing this meeting and deplored the significant delays primariliy due to the COVID-19 pandemic, preventing the completion of the studies originally envisaged to end August 2021.

She urged ECOWAS to fasttrac internal approval processes and procurement of all other componets and concluded by reiterating the willingness of AfDB to ensure the development and delivery of this important highway project towards improving regional integration of the sub-region.

In his opening speech, the Chair of the Ministerial Steering Committee and Minister of Works and Housing of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Honorable Babatunde Raji Fashola, appreciated the committment of the Heads of State of the five countries involved in the project namely Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana and Cote D’Ivoire to the development of the highway. He called the project a laudable attempt to provide first-class road transport infrastructure in the sub-region with its attendant quality and efficiency.

He opined that the over forty (40) million commuters who use the road every day for their livelihood and business will experience smoother journies and reduced travel time when the 1,028 kilometres highway is finally constructed. He stated that the Nigeria section of the highway from Lagos to Badagry is being constructed by the Nigerian Government through the tax credit scheme and it is in alignment with the engineering design of the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Highway Development project.

He further acknowledged the continued support of the EU and AfDB towards the realization of the highway project and thanked the ECOWAS Commission and other Member States for their commitment.

At the end of the meeting, a communique was issued which provide firm conclusions and decisions on the finalization of the detailed engineering designs and financing options studies for investment mobilization, right of way aquisition, and a call on ECOWAS to make arrnagements for the discussion of the establishment of ALCoMA on the sidelines of the next ECOWAS Summit in Ghana.

Other decisions in the communique include the timeline for the consultants to conclude Phase 3 of the assignment by November 2022, the consideration of the Accra Bypass Tunnel Option to avoid the highway going through the densely populated urban area and the adoption of the full free flow tolling system, which will also accommodate the peculiarities of Member States.

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