The Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) said the Abidjan-Lagos corridor would contribute to the economic growth of the ECOWAS community citizens.
A statement issued on the website of the ECOWAS Commission on Friday quoted the Ministerial Steering Committee of the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Highway Development Project as saying this at a meeting in Accra on May 19.
The meeting was held to take decisions on expediting the completion of technical studies, securing lands for the right of way, and financing the construction of the highway project.
The meeting was also held to implement the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Management Authority (ALCoMA).
In his welcome address, Mr Sediko Douka, Commissioner for Infrastructure, Energy and Digitalisation said it was one of the interventions that could change the narrative of ECOWAS by highlighting the contribution to the total economic growth of community citizens.
Douka also said it could contribute to projects in transport, health, agriculture, customs, migration, education, and more.
The commissioner lauded the commitment of member countries and spoke on the fact that the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Highway remained a flagship project for the commission.
“It will enable citizens of the community to better appreciate and be informed about tangible achievements of ECOWAS.
“Indeed, it is our duty to accentuate the visibility of ECOWAS achievement on physical infrastructure projects in the area of transport, energy, telecom, water resource, and agriculture just as this project has been presented at various African Investment Forums by the African Development Bank (AfDB).”
He charged the participants to take an interest in ensuring that the project became a reality.
“We keep calling on both public and private investors to accompany the corridor countries and ECOWAS in the realisation of this visionary venture.
“On resource mobilisation, it should be noted that ECOWAS has just adopted a new regulatory framework on the Public Private Partnership (PPP) that is an incentive for the entry of Private Sector in large Investments like the nature of this project.”
Also, Mr Mike Salawou, Director for Infrastructure and Urban Development, AfDB revealed that the bank was in discussions with the ECOWAS commission to begin engagements with Development Finance Institutions at various roundtable sessions.
Salawou said the engagement was to attract the needed financing interests for the construction of the highway.
“We are going to make sure that this strategic economic corridor project with a great potential to boost industrialisation, promote trade and improve lives and conditions of ECOWAS citizenry, is financed.
“So we are fully committed to making this a reality.”
The feasibility and preliminary designs studies have been completed, while the final phases should be completed before 2023.