Experts from the ECOWAS Abidjan – Lagos Corridor, ALC, countries of Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria and Togo, are meeting in Abuja, the Nigerian capital to review the progress on the implementation of the Technical Design and Preparatory Studies for the Abidjan – Lagos Corridor Highway Development Programme.
The experts meeting, which is in preparation of the Ministerial Steering Committee meeting of Ministers of Road Infrastructure and Works, is expected to look at the status of project preparatory Activities including the ratification of the Treaty establishing the Abidjan – Lagos Corridor, signature and ratification of Financing Agreements with the AfDB for the ALC Feasibility, Environmental and Socio-Economic Impact Assessment and Detailed Engineering study, Spatial Development Initiative Scoping Study, Road Safety Audit Study and a Technical Assistance Consultancy Services as well as advancing the signature and operationalization of Legal Documents for the establishment of the new Abidjan – Lagos Corridor Management Authority, ALCoMA, among others.
Antoinette G. Weeks, the commissioner for Infrastructure, ECOWAS Commission, in her opening remarks welcomed the participants on behalf of H.E. Marcel de Souza, President of the Commission. She told participants that the ECOWAS Commission has made some progress in pursuing the implementation of all components of the ALC Programme as mandated by the Heads of State and Government through the leadership of the Steering Committee.
Commissioner Weeks said that studies have been finalized on the legal and institutional framework documents for the establishment of the Supranational Corridor Management Authority and that the ECOWAS Commission in collaboration with Experts from Member States have completed the evaluation of various Expression of Interest, EOIs, and the shortlisting of consultants to perform the feasibility and Detailed Engineering Design Study for the Corridor Development Programme. She acknowledged that with the imminent establishment of the Project Implementation Unit and recruitment of the Technical Assistance Team to support ECOWAS and Member States, to expedite the implementation.
Babatunde Raji Fashola, the Nigerian Minister of Power, Works and Housing, in his keynote address underscored the importance of the Abidjan – Lagos Corridor in achieving the vision of the Heads of State and Government of ECOWAS to ensure the development of the Region and improve the standard of living for the community citizens. He said that the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor holds the key to cross-border trade and will enhance rapid integration and also improve socio-economic activities which will create more jobs for youths in the sub-region. He congratulated the Experts for their commitment till date and urged them to sustain the momentum to fast-track implementation.
The three-day meeting is organized in collaboration with the Nigerian Ministry of Power, Works and Housing and is holding ahead of the Ministerial Steering Committee meeting scheduled to hold on November 10, 2017.