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Ghana ratifies implementation of Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Highway project

By
Godwill Arthur-Mensah, GNA

Accra, Aug. 11, GNA – Mr Kwasi Amoako-Atta, the Minister of Roads and Highway said Ghana, on June 30,
ratified the treaty for the implementation of the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor
Highway Development Programme.

He said government was
awaiting parliamentary approval for the one million Euros loan needed as
counterpart funding for the project.

He expressed the hope
that Parliament would approve the loan upon resumption from recess.

He said the Memorandum
of Understanding on the project was at the Cabinet level and indicated that
Ghana was on course in ensuring a successful take-off.

Mr Amoako-Atta made
the disclosure at the Eighth ECOWAS Ministerial Steering Committee Meeting for
Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Highway Development Programme, in Accra, on Friday.

A total of 1,028 kilometres
dual carriage highways would be constructed to link the major commercial cities
of five ECOWAS countries including; Ghana, La Cote d’Ivoire, Togo, Benin and
Nigeria to enhance trade facilitation and regional integration.

The Minister said the
meeting would deliberate on the progress made so far on the procurement
process, consultancy services and detailed engineering studies as well as
management organisation on the project.

He said the
Ministerial Steering Committee had made a lot of progress in its previous
meetings and at the point of taking crucial decisions on the Corridor
Management Authority and modalities in ensuring a fair representation and
contributions of the countries involved.

Dr Antoinette G.
Weeks, the Commissioner in charge of Infrastructure for ECOWAS Commission, said
in February 2014, the ECOWAS Head of States tasked the Commission to facilitate
the implementation of the Abidjan-Lagos highways infrastructure of six lane
dual carriage ways to facilitate regional trade and integration for
socio-economic development of the sub-region.

She said the
Commission had worked closely with the Ministerial Steering Committee, the
Ministers of State in charge of Roads, Infrastructure and Works of the five
countries involved, and had made some key recommendations for consideration and
approval.

She said the
Commission would count on the valuable diligence and guidance of the ministers
in considering the recommendations and help to ensure that they collaboratively
and jointly craft the most effective way forward.

Dr Weeks noted that
key recommendations to be considered by the ministers at the meeting included;
draft documentation validated by the technical experts to guide the
establishment of the Corridor Management Authority, which was supposed to be
created by the ECOWAS Steering Committee.

The Committee would
also review the revised and updated project procurement schedule and the
project website and information sharing mechanisms, she added.

Mr Babatunde Raji
Fashola, the Chairman of the ECOWAS Ministerial Steering Committee for the
Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Highway Development Programme, expressed appreciation to
the technical committee of experts for the distinctive work they had done so
far.

He said the project
would present an enormous prosperity for their peoples and improve regional
trade and integration.

He said the Steering
Committee had made tremendous progress since their last meeting in Lagos
culminating in the signing of treaties and agreements by participating
countries.

Mr Fashola, also the
Minister of Power, Works and Housing for the Federal Republic of Nigeria, said
the project would ensure the efficient management of the customs and
immigration challenges and improve the travelling time and safety, as well as
reduce the cost of goods and services in the sub-region.

The ECOWAS Heads of
States in 2014 tasked the Ministerial Steering Committee for the Abidjan-Lagos
Corridor Management Authority to consider strategies and modalities for the
implementation of the project.

The consultant engaged
by the ECOWAS Commission for advisory services for early stage preparation for
the project has almost completed the assignment on institutional design for the
Authority and the Steering Committee would deliberate on it at the meeting.

The institutional
design includes the functions and structure of the Abidjan-Lagos Management
Authority and comprehensive legal framework covering the intergovernmental
agreement with the creation of the Authority, the enabling legislation, the
international project agreement, and the rules of procedure to facilitate
project implementation.

A final validation
workshop was held in July at the ECOWAS Commission in Nigeria, Abuja, by
technical experts from the Ministries of Infrastructure, Works, Finance, Transport
and Justice of the five corridor countries.

GNA

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