Project directors and engineers from the Abidjan – Lagos corridor members countries (CMCS) meet to review the progress of the technical and project preparatory studies for the 1,028km supranational highway.
Abidjan, March 16, 2023 – The ECOWAS Commission, convened the 18th Meeting of Committee of Experts for Project Directors and Engineers from the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Members Countries namely Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria and Togo, to review the progress of project preparatory studies and all the technical components especially the Detailed Design & the PPP Financial Structuring and Project Implementation Strategy, and to consider practical measures to expedite the commencement of the construction of the 1,028km supranational highway.
The meeting was in preparation of the 18th meeting of the Ministerial Steering Committee which comprises Ministers of Works and Roads Infrastructure from the Corridor Members Countries. The Committee took stock of implementation progress and agree on measures to expedite the completion of the detailed design & financing strategy studies
Welcoming the Directors and Project Engineers to the meeting, the Ag. Director of Transport of the ECOWAS Commission recalled the uniqueness of the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor which combines modern, green and smart infrastructure development, trade and transport facilitation as well as spatial development activities to spur on economic development within the zone of influence. activities targeted at participants.
The Ag. Director indicated that “As a Region, ECOWAS continues to suffer from significant challenges along its trade and transport routes despite numerous smaller scale isolated and uncoordinated interventions by Member States, ECOWAS Institutions and Development Partners”. Some of these have been in the area of border crossing improvements, rehabilitation, widening or development of short road sections, bilateral customs interconnectivity, observatory of bad practices, facilitation committees, bilateral trade agreements, etc.
He contended that Member States and the Commission can only achieve real integration and maximize the benefits of initiatives like the AfCFTA, if we pursue ambitious game changers like the construction of the 6-lane dual carriage supra-national highway that connects the capital cities and major economic centres along the Corridors.
The Ag. Director urged Experts, Project Engineers and the media personnel of the Corridor Member states to help project a positive image and show optimism on the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor
Highway project by highlighting the very significant milestones attained in building the confidence of private investors and development finance institutions, which includes the signing of the Project Treaty by the Presidents of the five (5) Member States along the Corridor and its ratification, the mobilization of approximately US$42 million from the African Development Bank, European Union, the ECOWAS Commission and Member States for the technical studies and project preparatory activities, the completion of the Feasibility & Preliminary Studies, completion of the Institutional & Legal Study for the establishment of the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Management Authority (ALCoMA), which is mandated by the Presidents to construct, operate and manage the Highway on behalf of the five countries – based on the “One Road” Principle.
“Under this principle, there will not be five sections of the highway managed under five different country-specific regimes or institutions, but ONE ROAD, under one single management with the same legal regime assured by the supranational and autonomous ALCoMA, with representative offices in all five countries.
He ended by assuring the Experts Committee Meeting of the continued commitment of the ECOWAS Project team and technical assistance team to conclude the technical studies in good time. “The Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Highway Development Project remains an integral project to the attainment of Strategic Objective 3 of the new ECOWAS Vision 2050”.
The Chairman of the Committee of Experts, Engr. Terna Ibi, Director of Highway Planning and Development of the Ministry of Works and Housing of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, reminded the meeting of the task by the Presidents and Honourable Ministers to conclude the technical studies to enable physical construction to commence as soon as possible.
Accordingly, he reminded that the meeting will among others review the conclusions and tasks contained in the Communique of the 17th Ministerial Steering Committee meeting held in Lomé, Togo in December 2022.
The key Agenda items included the completion of the Detailed Engineering Studies, the PPP Structuring and Financing Strategy, preservation of the established Right-of-Way of the Highway, confirmation of the project cost estimates, Accra Bypass Tunnel studies and feedback from the 2nd Dakar Finance Summit held in February 2023, where the Abidjan Lagos Corridor Highway Project was presented. The meeting will also consider the Project Communication Strategy and Action Plan.
Opening the meeting the Director of Cabinet of the Ministry of Equipment and Road Maintenance of Cote d’Ivoire, Mr. Aristide Yao, welcomed members of the Project Committee of Experts to Abidjan. He highlighted the impatience of the ordinary citizens, traders and users of the Corridor, whose lives and will be greatly impacted upon completion and opening of the highway. The Director therefore urged ECOWAS to ensure that the Consultants undertaking the feasibility and detailed design studies, expedite the studies and complete on time.
He assured the meeting of Cote d’Ivoire’s continued support to help the Consultant on Lot 1 of the Studies, Bingeville through Grand Bassam, to Apimanim in Ghana, to FastTrack the completion of studies.
The conclusions and recommendations of the meeting were presented to the Honorable Ministers of Roads and Works of the five corridor Countries, the 18th meeting of the Steering Committee on Friday 17th March 2023. The meeting was also attended officials and representatives of the Africa Development Bank, European Union, JICA and the ECOWAS PPDU.
The Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Highway Project is a 1028km multinational highway agreed on by the Heads of State and Government of the five (5) Corridor Countries to connect the capitals and bring economic development to their citizens and the entire community.
The ECOWAS Commission is the Executing Agency, through its Directorate of Transport, until the operationalization of the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Management Authority, the supranational body that has been mandated to construct, manage, and operate the corridor for and on behalf of Benin, Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, and Togo.
The Feasibility and Preliminary Studies reports show an average Economic Rate of Return of 15% on investment. Many sections of the Corridor also recorded very high traffic levels which will justify private sector investment and together with the economic activities to be packaged with the highway, public-private partnerships project financing models are being considered for the construction of the highway.
The African Development Bank (AfDB) is the lead financial and technical Partner, with the European Union also supporting with funds from their Africa Infrastructure Investment Funds (AfIF).
Source: Directorate of Communication, ECOWAS Commission
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