By Adedapo Adesanya
The federal government has allocated special funds towards its commitment to the reconstruction of Trans-Saharan Africa highway that links the commercial city of Lagos with Algeria via its capital, Algiers. This was revealed by President Buhari on Monday at the 70th Session of the Trans-Saharan Road Liaison Committee (TRLC) in the nation’s capital, Abuja.
The President, who was represented by the Minister of Police Affairs, Mr Maigari Dingyadi, said Nigeria would continue to support the committee to deliver the road in order to improve relations between countries on the continent.
“I am aware that the committee has made concerted efforts to execute the task of building the Trans-Saharan road, which is also known as the Trans-Saharan African Highway to link Algiers with Nigeria through Lagos.
“The road will also have routes and branches that link Tunisia, Mali and Chad. That highway is a pride of the African continent. This is why Nigeria is supporting and will continue to support.
“The Nigerian government is currently upgrading the section of the Trans-Saharan road within its borders. Special funding consideration has been committed to the reconstruction work on the sections of Trans-Saharan roads from Lagos to Ibadan and Kaduna to Kano,” he said.
It was also revealed that other sections of the route from Ibadan to Ilorin, Ilorin to Jebba, Jebba to Mokwa and Mokwa to Kaduna had either been made into dual carriage way or were currently undergoing rehabilitation. This will ensure an efficient flow of traffic, especially for heavy duty vehicles using the routes.
On his part, the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, said the reconstruction of the Algiers-Nigeria highway would boost the economies of countries.
He said the TRLC had a Trans-African Highway Plan seeking to connect Africa from Cape Town to Tunisia, either by driving through East African border, West African border or through the Centre of Africa.
He added that there would be a coast to coast connectivity from the West to East Africa, North-East Africa to the North-West Africa and the South-West Africa to the East Africa.
The minister also said that this connectivity would bring about nine highways at different stages of construction out of which three would pass through Nigeria.
“They are the Lagos-Dakar highway, through Seme in Benin Republic; Lagos-Mombasa, through Yaoundè in Cameroon; and Lagos-Algiers, which is the one supported by this committee and this is the subject of our meeting,” he said.
Also, giving a remark, Mr Chukwunike Uzo, Director Highways Planning and Development, said the trans-Saharan road liaison committee with six countries; Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Tunisia, Algeria and Mali.
Mr Uzo said when it was formed in 1966, it was to establish a road link across the six countries to encourage growth, socio economic activities, development, cooperation and trade.
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