Residents and motorists plying the Lagos-Badagry Expressway that has been under expansion by the Lagos State Government since 2006, have continued to decry what they describe as snail speed construction activities or near abandonment by the contractor, China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC).
This is coming as the European Union (EU), has said it will be co-funding with other interest bodies including the African Development Bank (AfDB) in the delivery of the Abidjan-Lagos Highway Corridor to stimulate investments, strengthen the competitiveness of the territories and encourage regional integration for growth and job creation.
However, checks on the highway, especially between Alakija and Volkswagen, suggests near abandonment even as road users continue to gnash their teeth on the hazards so far presented by the endless construction activities.
It would be recalled that few days ago, a loaded tanker falloff the worst portion of the road in front of Ojo Military Cantonment and went up in flames killing a number of citizens and destroying several vehicles.
EU delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS had on Tuesday in Abuja published a statement on its website, saying the project fit into the framework of the cooperation between EU and Africa, particularly West Africa.
The proposed Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Highway, a six-lane motorway, will connect some of the largest and most economically dynamic cities in Africa, (Abidjan, Accra, Cotonou, Lomé, and Lagos) while covering a large proportion of West Africa’s population. It will also link very vibrant seaports in West Africa to all the landlocked countries of the region, namely Burkina Faso, Mali, and Niger.
According to the statement, the recently-signed agreement for a study on the technical, implementation and operational aspects of the project comes nearly five years after the Presidents of Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Nigeria, and Togo signed a treaty on the establishment of the highway in March 2014.
According to the Head of Co-operation, EU delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, Kurt Cornelis, the cooperation aims to strengthen the competitiveness of the territories, stimulate investments and encourage regional integration for growth and job creation.
EU also noted that “The EU is contributing $10.38m while the African Development Bank has approved a $12.6m financing package, bringing the total finance for the feasibility studies to $22.7m.
He said “The stakes for the region are high, as this corridor links five West African countries, connecting the main ports of the region and two railway lines. It also connects several North-South corridors, as well as serving directly four further countries in the hinterland.”
“The construction of a motorway and the establishment of a management system facilitating the borders will contribute to an increase in trade volumes in the axis. It already accounts for 75 per cent of the commercial activities of the region,” Cornelis noted.
Credit: Business Highlights