Ghana’s Ministry of Roads and Highways have begun sensitization of stakeholders in communities to be impacted by the construction of the iconic 1,028km, six (6)-lane Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Highway project whose construction is due to start in 2024.
Speaking at a sensitization workshop on the Abidjan – Lagos Corridor Highway Project for the Greater Accra and Eastern Regions, the Chief Director of the Ministry of Roads and Highways, Ing. Dr. Abass Awolu on behalf of the sector minister urged Traditional, Planning and Local Government Authorities of the various stakeholder Ministries Departments and Agencies to acknowledge the significance of the corridor to Ghana and West Africa’s development and offer their maximum cooperation and support for the project.
“It is important that as traditional and local government authorities, MMDAs, you do understand the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Highway Project and what it means for us and factor that in your developments because in the end, there will be compulsory acquisition of the Right of Way (RoW)” The Chief Director, Ministry of Roads and Highways emphasized.
Ing. Dr. Abbas Awolu advised the stakeholders in the communities that are likely to be directly impacted by the construction of the project to suspend all planned developments along the corridor highway since there will be compulsory acquisition of the land as mandated by the treaty establishing the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor High which was agreed to by Heads of State and Government of the five countries i.e. Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire that “Member Countries are obliged to make available parcels of land on each side of the highway for the Right of Way (RoW) in order to accommodate the entire carriageway as well as future expansion and developments.”
Ing. Dr. Abass Awolu therefore cautioned that “Once Compulsory acquisition is in place, no one can develop in the Right of Way (RoW) and its only important to reduce the cost of that acquisition on government, because it will eventually come back to us”
The Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Highway Project Director for Ghana, Ing. Rita Ohene-Sarfo explained that the project is a six (6)-lane dual carriage way that will run from Abidjan through Elubo, Daboasi, Mankesim, passing through Winneba junction and some parts of the mountainous sections of Greater Accra Region and the Akuapem South District which will attract a 3km tunnel in Ghana. It will then go through Akanu and Nuepe all in Ghana as well.
“ECOWAS led this project and the Heads of State and Government of all the five (5) countries of Nigeria, Benin, Togo, Ghana and Cote d’Ivoire agreed and signed a treaty in 2014 to establish the corrido which is expected to be a catalyst for development in the ECOWAS region.” Ing. Ohene-Sarfo asserted.
The Ghana Project Director expressed she is optimistic that the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Highway will meet its objective of improving economic integration and cross-border trade within the ECOWAS Community. “The Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Highway is a part of the larger Lagos-Dakar Corridor. So, we are going to have an entire Corridor where you can get up and drive from here all the way to Dakar, Senegal, Liberia and all those places with a regional transport system.”
Ing. Mercy Payne, a member of the Project Implantation Unit explained that “under Article 5 of the Treaty establishing the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor, member countries are to jointly address matters relating to resettlement, compensation and protection of the Right of Way (RoW).
Ing. Payne who is part of the engineers implementing Ghana’s portion of the project which is lot 2 comprising some 466km of the entire 1,028km highway project added that “Member Countries are obliged to make available parcels of land on each side of the highway for the Right of Way (RoW) in order to accommodate the entire carriageway as well as future expansion and developments.”
In all Ghana is seeking to benefit heavily from the construction of the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Highway project as about 50% representing 578km of the 1,028km highway can be found in Ghana with 466km part of the Lot 2 and the remaining 112km part of the Lot 1 of the project. The remaining 50% is shared among Nigeria, Benin, Togo and Cote d’Ivoire.