ABUJA- The Commission of the Economic Community of West African States has hinted that the 1028-km Abidjan-Lagos highway project will begin in January 2024 starting with procurement for the main construction and the actual construction work.
To this end, the commission has begun a validation workshop in preparation for the implementation of the project expected to link major cities.
The workshop held in Lagos was organized by the project implementation Unit of the commission’s Spatial Development Initiative to share ideas and completely examine the physical, economic, and social aspects of the highway project.
The chairman of the Spatial Development Initiative, Ebere Izunobi, disclosed that experts from five member countries, including Nigeria, Ghana, Togo, Benin Republic, and Cote D’Ivoire, were drawn to discuss the project designed to transform the lives of people along that corridor.
According to him, transport infrastructure has been prioritised in the ECOWAS commission programmes.
He disclosed that the project was discussed and approved at the Heads of state that the highway, known as “Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Highway”, with a length of around 1028km, connect major cities and crosses an area with high economic potential.
Izunobi reiterated SDI’s commitment to work with individual countries, to ensure that countries along that corridor spring up developmental projects such as port services along the coastal area, building of companies, evacuation of raw materials, importation of goods and services amongst others.
He said, “Spatial development initiative is the company designing the project. We are at the designing stage now, by the time the design would have been done at the end of this year with environmental assessment and engineering design, the scooping of the project tender documents would take it to the market.
“The road project can only be meaningful if it’s linked, facilitates and enhances businesses to develop, that’s why ECOWAS commission who is coordinating the project on behalf of member states got a consultant that will be overseeing the project built along the corridor”.
Head of Road and Railways, ECOWAS Commission, Ashoke Maliki, said the Abidjan-Lagos highway corridor is an important socio-economic link in the ECOWAS region of the trans-African road and motorway programme.
He said that the project could not be reduced to simple highway construction of highway, but a trade and coordinated set of intermodal transport and logistics infrastructures and services that facilitate trade.