Honourable Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN, has disclosed that the reconstruction of the major highways that link Nigeria’s borders with the six member states of the Trans Sahara Road namely: Chad, Niger, Tunisia, Mali and Algeria is 80% asphalted.
Fashola made the disclosure at the opening ceremony of the 70th session and meeting of the Trans Sahara Road Liaison Committee (TRLC) which Nigeria is hosting in Abuja.
The ministers in charge of roads in the six countries are taking part at the meeting.
The objective of the meeting of the TRLC member countries was to discuss and share knowledge on how to improve African connectivity, integration and trade.
Fashola noted that the over 9000 kms Trans Sahara Road Which serves about 37 regions in Africa and connects about 74 urban cities and 60 million people across six countries if completed would create immense opportunities in Agriculture, information technology and the fashion industry among others, adding that most of the roads that were plied by horses and carmels are presently motorable.
According to the Minister, “Now if you appreciate that these roads, roads of horses and camels are now the roads of vehicles and trucks, you can imagine the opportunities that lie ahead as we converge here.”
He further noted that Nigeria is part of the large urban network of opportunity as the rehabilitation and reconstruction of the Trans Sahara Road would intensify cultural and economic exchange of goods and services across the African region.
Accordingly, the Minister also stated that the reconstruction of these major roads are due to their busy nature, adding that heavy duty trucks of about 5000 in number ply these roads on a regular basis.
He listed some roads in the trans sharan route such as: the Abuja- Kaduna- Kano , Lagos – Ibadan-Ilorin-Jebba among others which are at different stages of completion.
In an address by the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Muhammadu Buhari delivered by his representative, the Minister of Police Affairs Alhaji Mohammed Dingyadi,the Mr.President reiterated the committment of his administration to introduce change in Nigeria geared towards a sustainable and quality infrastructure development to drive economic development and job creation.
He explained that provision of road infrastructure was meant to increase Nigeria’s trunks of roads to ease the cost and time of doing business and improve economic competiveness in Nigeria’s Economic Recovery Growth Plan (ERGP).
The President, however, maintained that his administration “shares the vision of the Trans Sahara Road Liaison Committee to develop the section of the Trans Sahara road within their respective territories.”
The President also charged the delegates attending the meeting to remain committed to the prompt delivery of the crucial development of road transport infrastructure for the benefit of the people in member states.
In his address, the Secretary General of the Trans Sahara Road Liaison Committee, Mr. Ayadi Mohammed, commended President Muhammadu Buhari, the Honourable Minister for Works and Housing Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN ,the Honourable Minister of State for Works and Housing, Engineer Abubakar Aliyu and the management and staff of the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing for their hospitality and reception given to the delegates.
He added that the member countries of the Trans Sahara and Committee have the task to build excellent relationship that would stimulate trade in the region.
Deputy Director Press.