By Asmau Ahmad
The African Development Bank (AfDB), said it has secured $15.6 billion investment for the construction of the Lagos-Abidjan highway.
AfDB President Dr Akinwumi Adesina tweeted this on his twitter handle @akin_adesina accessed by Health Reporters on Sunday.
He said that the investment would strengthen regional trade and integration in West Africa by linking the hinterlands of different Participating Member Countries (PMCs).
The president said that the investment would include providing sea port access to landlocked countries and some transition states of West Africa to the vibrant seaports.
The Lagos-Abidjan highway interconnects the capital cities of five Western African countries of Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin and Nigeria, covering approximately 1,028 km and eight border crossings.
The Abidjan-Lagos Corridor is a flagship project of the Programme for Infrastructure Development in Africa (PIDA).
It forms part of the wider Dakar-Lagos Corridor and a major part of the Trans-African-Highway-Network within the ECOWAS region.
The corridor’s current alignment traverses all major economic centres of the five PMCs starting from “Bingerville,” a suburb of Abidjan and ending at Mile 2 (Eric Moore), in Lagos.
In a statement issued by AfDB recently said the Abidjan Lagos project is a key regional trade and transport corridor that interconnects some of the largest and most economically dynamic cities in Africa, Abidjan, Accra, Cotonou, Lomé and Lagos.
It also said that the corridor links other corridors along the north-south axis and interconnects the landlocked countries of Burkina Faso, Mali, Niger and Chad.
“The corridor interconnects the most densely populated and economically active parts of the sub-region –it intersects with a rail network and major ports/airports.
“The transport sector in West Africa plays a key role in the economic development of the region and generates about five to eight per cent of its Gross Domestic Product (GDP).
“This remains cognisant of the fact that an efficient regional transport network is an enabling infrastructure required to promote regional trade and socio-economic development, inter-alia.
“ECOWAS and WAEMU member states have consistently committed themselves to the financing of designated regional transport corridors.
“The Abidjan-Lagos transport corridor currently supports approximately 75 per cent of sub-regional trade activities.
“However, a combination of hard and soft infrastructure deficiencies negates its optimal contribution to regional economic growth,” the Bank said.