Abuja – Some Economic Community of West African States involved in the Abidjan-Lagos road corridor project have agreed to contribute US$50 million in seed money to ensure the implementation of the scheme.
“The Steering Committee agreed at its third ministerial session in Yamoussoukro that the money would help fund preparatory activities and provide further evidence of commitment by the countries for public and private sector operators interested in investing in the project,” read a press statement ECOWAS released.
The ECOWAS Committee, comprising Ministers of the Road Infrastructure and Works of Benin, Ivory Coast, Ghana, Nigeria and Togo, also mandated the ECOWAS Commission to engage with partners to submit proposals for transaction advisory services and the mobilization of external funding for the project.
“In addition, it mandated the Commission to finalise a joint funding request for the five countries to the African Development Bank (AfDB) to be signed by their Ministers of Finance.”
Speaking during the opening session, Ivory Coast’s Minister of Economic Infrastructure, Patrick highlighted the importance of the project.
The first phase of the Lagos-Dakar highway project aims to link the eastern and western coastal extremes of the region.
He described the project as a veritable road artery that would contribute to strengthening the implementation of the region’s integration programme.
Nigeria’s Minister of Works, Mike Onolememen, who chairs the Committee, stressed the need for the countries to continue demonstrating cohesion so as to realise the resolve of their Heads of State and Government towards the project, which has attracted remarkable donor interest.
Ministers of Benin, Ghana and Togo also addressed the meeting, renewing their countries’ commitment to the project.
ECOWAS Commissioner for Infrastructure, Ebrima Njie, said the project’s realisation would facilitate intra-community movement of goods and persons.
He said the 1 028-kilometre project would also contribute to stimulating the regional economy and help reduce impediments to intra-community movement of goods and persons.
– CAJ News