The Chief Director of the Ministry of Roads and Highway, Mr Abass Awolu has indicated Ghana’s commitment to ensuring progress in the implementation of the six-lane Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Highway Development Project.
He said the project, a key infrastructure that will traverse one of the most important road corridors, was a high priority in the economic development of Ghana.
Speaking at the opening ceremony of the 19th Technical Experts and Ministerial Committee Meeting on the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Highway Development Project in Accra, on Tuesday, Mr Awolu indicated that Ghana would do all it could to ensure the implementation of the project.
“We, therefore, are keen on the progress of this project and we pray that all Member States continue to be committed to this goal,” he said.
The three-day meeting brought together Ministers in charge of roads and/or infrastructure of the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor member countries of Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, and Togo.
The objective of the meeting was to enable the committee to review the implementation progress of the project, which involves the construction of a three-lane dual carriage highway, implementation of transport facilitation measures to improve intra-regional trade and a comprehensive economic corridor plan.
The Abidjan-Lagos Corridor covers a total distance of 1,028km and connects some of the largest and economically dynamic cities in Africa namely Lagos, Accra, Cotonou, Lomé, and Abidjan.
It also covers a substantial proportion of West Africa and links very vibrant seaports, serving all the landlocked countries in the region- Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger.
Ghana accounts for the longest section (576km) of the corridor, including a proposed 2.7km under tunnel from Ga East in the Greater Accra Region to Berekusu in the Eastern Region.
The project, when completed, would generate economic and social activities, promote cross-border trade, and integrate economies within the ECOWAS community.
It is being implemented by the ECOWAS Commission.
Mr Awolu said Ghana had begun the sensitisation of stakeholders along the right of way on the importance of the project to ensure that work commences smoothly in 2024 as proposed.
He commended the Technical Experts Committee for its professionalism and determination in preparing for the corridor’s implementation.
Mr Chris Appiah, Acting Director of Transport, ECOWAS Commission, indicated that processes were at an advanced stage for realisation of the long-conceived project.
He said feasibility and preliminary designs of the project had been completed, adding that preparation of bidding documents for the various lots had also commenced.
Mr Appiah noted that the completed processes would enable the Commission to approach investors to raise finances to construct the highway.
Already, he said, the ECOWAS Commission and member countries had been successful in mobilising some $42.55 million from its partners such as the African Development Bank and the European Union, for technical studies of the project.
The project has been estimated to cost $15 billion dollars.
“I think the amount mobilised just for the technical studies speaks to the fact that this is a very priority project, you know, for all the five countries, the presidents of the five countries and development partners who are with us,” he said.
Mr Terna Ibi, Chairman of the Committee of Experts, indicated that the Committee would ensure that the project was delivered to the satisfaction of the people within the project corridor.
“I want to assure you that the experts are aware of this huge responsibility and are committed to providing practicable solutions and advice that will guide the Steering Committee at every stage of this project,” he said.
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