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Construction Of Lagos-Abidjan Expressway To Commence In 2014

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The construction of the Lagos-Abidjan Expressway will commence in 2014, President Goodluck Jonathan has said.

The President said this on Saturday at an investors’ forum in Abidjan, Cote d’Ivoire as part of his state visit to the country.

Jonathan said the road was important to economic growth in the sub-region as it would enhance free movement of goods and persons.

He said when completed, the expressway would also drastically reduce the challenges currently being posed by security operatives to traders.

The President said issues bordering on how to ensure that the road was delivered as soon as possible took the centre stage at a meeting he had with the leaders from Togo, Benin, Cote d’Ivoire and Ghana recently.

He said, “We have charged the Ivorian Minister of Infrastructure and the Nigerian Minister of Works to work with the ECOWAS Commission and within two weeks come up with a blueprint and preliminary information on the project that we will discuss in Addis Ababa in May when we go for AU meeting

“This is because we want a situation where the desk-work will be completed this year and by next year, we want physical construction.

“We believe that when we have this road, the issue of movement interference by customs and police will be minimised because that will be an ECOWAS road.

“The laws regulating the use of the road will not be the laws regulating that of the roads in Nigeria, Cote d’Ivoire or Ghana. It will be an international standard and everything will be done in such a way that movement of goods, services and so on will not be interfered with by local restriction.”

Jonathan said the projects would not be financed with public funds but by development partners and some viable banks which would re-coup their fund through tariffs and toll fees.

“By the time you can traverse from Nigeria to Cote d’Ivoire, then you will easily integrate the entire sub-region.

“You will so integrate the system in such a way that you can key other countries along that is why we decided that we must work with our business men and men women to develop an express road from Lagos to Abidjan,” he said.

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