ECOWAS launches project implementation unit of the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Highway
The Commission of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) has launched the Project Implementation Unit (PIU) for the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Highway Development Project, on the 27th of February 2019 in Abuja, Nigeria.
Essentially, the PIU which is dedicated, is meant among others, to provide day-to-day management of the Highway Project under the supervision of the Commissioner for Infrastructure of the ECOWAS Commission, through his technical Project Manager.
Giving a remark at the start of the 2-Day meeting covering its launch at the Commission’s headquarters, the ECOWAS Commission’s Commissioner for Infrastructure Mr Pathe Gueye stated that the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Project remains of high importance to the ECOWAS Commission, Corridor Member States as well as Development Partners considering the enormous benefits which will accrue to the region from its implementation.
The Corridor project when fully implemented is expected to promote the free movement Agenda of ECOWAS, generate social and economic activities, promote cross-border trade and integrate the economies of countries in the region.
And according to the Commissioner, “this will contribute to the reduction of poverty levels of the population that depend on the transport modes of the corridor for livelihood”.
He said it was in order to provide the Authorities in Member States and stakeholders, with strong technical basis upon which to make informed decisions, that the African Development Bank (AfDB) and the European Union contributed funds to undertake all the necessary technical and project preparation studies.
The studies include Consultancy Services for the Feasibility Study and Environmental, Social Impacts Assessment (ESIA) including for Road Safety Audit of the Highway Project, Detailed Engineering Design and Preparation of Tender Documents, Viability Assessment, Corridor Economic and Spatial Development Study as well as Trade and Transport Facilitation, among others.
The Task Manager of the AfDB, Madam Lydie Ehouman underscored the importance of the meeting which allows stakeholders to “trace in a precise way, the outline of the procedure for the implementation of this highly strategic study for West Africa in particular and the African continent”
She noted that the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor is an essential link in the Dakar-Lagos Corridor, which is part of the trans-African highway of the ECOWAS region, whose development is one of the sixteen (16) priority continental infrastructure projects identified on the continent’s scale.
Madam Ehouman expressed the wish of the AfDB concerning the need for all stakeholders including the ECOWAS Commission and the PIU to submit as soon as possible, the requests for payment for the start-up advance of the consultants of the three lots relating to the feasibility and technical studies.
She thanked the ECOWAS Commission and all the participating Member Countries of the Corridor for their leadership and willingness to ensure the development and regional integration of West Africa through the Abidjan-Lagos corridor highway.
Speaking on behalf of the technical partners in the PIU team, the consultant Mr. Dassi Paul Hounhoui thanked the ECOWAS Commission for the confidence reposed in the team of consultants selected to handle the project.
Working as professional consultants, he said all efforts would be made to ensure that rules and procedures are respected with emphasis on the need to adhere to technical specifications while ensuring that all parties are satisfied. “We will not fail to discharge the mandate given to us”. He added.
The corridor project is for the construction of a 6-lane multinational highway from Abidjan in Cote d’Ivoire through Ghana, Benin, and Togo to Lagos in Nigeria.
Complementarily, the Commission has also placed priority on the implementation of other regional corridor projects such as the Praia-Dakar-Abidjan Corridor.
Members of the PIU will also undergo an induction and training during the 2-Day meeting.
Also present at the meeting were officials of the ECOWAS Commission and AfDB, Member States Experts as well as PIU Consultants.