By Abdulwaheed Olayinka Adubi
The government of the United Kingdom has committed a grant of £36 million for the development of the Abidjan-Lagos corridor.
The grant was received through the African Continental Free Trade Area (AfCFTA) Secretariat and disclosed by its Secretary-General, Mr. Wamkele Mene, during a visit to the Seme-Karke joint border post on Friday.
This comes as the African Development Bank (AfDB) says it is securing $15.6 billion of investment interests for the construction of the Lagos-Abidjan highway corridor.
Mene stated that the African Development Bank (AfDB) was also raising capital to finance infrastructure projects at the corridor to enable goods and services and also boost productivity.
“When I went to a port in Mombasa, they showed me a control room that is digitised for the entire East Africa community; they have equipment that helps them to access what is in the truck that is moving from Kampala to port in Mombasa.
“So, the officer in the control room, with a click of a button, will see what is in the truck. They did not pay for this with their own money; they mobilized resources,” Mene said.
He said that the secretariat would continue to mobilise resources to solve the infrastructural challenges within the corridor.
“The intervention will include interconnectivity. It may appear as if it is an insurmountable barrier but let us look at what others did and improve on the system they introduced and address these challenges,” adding that the resources being mobilized, the secretariat, would deploy a similar system within the Abidjan-Lagos corridor.
“That is why we said to the British Government that the grant they made available will be used to address infrastructural needs along the corridor.
“We are also working with the Afreximbank to see what intervention and trade facilitation facility they can make available so that we don’t rely on the British alone.
“We want to take an integrated approach by mobilizing those we can influence to bring their resources so that what happened in East Africa can happen here,” he said.