Govt Restates Commitment To Trans-Sahara Road Project
THE Federal Government has expressed commitment to realisation of the Trans-Sahara road project, amid concern over Nigeria’s absence at deliberations on the initiative.
The road, which will traverse Algeria, Tunisia, Mali, Niger, Chad and Nigeria, is being handled by the Trans-Sahara Road (TSR) Liaison Committee, made up of representatives of six African countries.
It aims at supporting economic integration and facilitating movement of people and goods between the participating countries and the continent in general.
Minister of State for Works, Amb. Bashir Yuguda, said TSR is a huge project that would promote trade, unity and facilitate movement of goods and services.
He disclosed this when he received a delegation from the Liaison Committee, led by Secretary General, Mr. Ayadi Mohammed, at the weekend, in Abuja.
Mohammed had expressed concern over the continuous absence of Nigeria at meetings of the committee.
“I don’t know who the representative of Nigeria in the Committee is. Nigeria was absent for three sessions. I asked every country to get three engineers, and I got response except from Nigeria,” he said.
The Minister, however, gave assurance that Nigeria would, henceforth, provide all necessary support, representation and information and would participate in future meetings.
Amb. Yuguda noted that Nigeria has done a lot of work on the dualisation project from Lagos, adding that the ministry is improving on the road surface of the stretch through Kontagora–Kaduna up to the Niger boarder.
He said that the Federal Government has identified the project for concession and has received a lot of unsolicited bids. He also explained that each country is expected to play its role, stressing need for adequate flow of information on the initiative.
Yuguda noted that Nigeria has done a feasibility study from Chad-Maiduguri and intends to have a technical session to know how prepared Chad is to enable Nigeria do its part of the construction.
He disclosed that the ministry would nominate a high-level staff to serve as desk officer for the project in order to bridge the missing link.