The African Development bank (AfDB) financed Economic Community Of West African States (Ecowas) Lagos -Abidjan regional 1,028 kilometers road corridor project has hit a brick wall following the stoppage of work on the technical studies by the consultants over demand for variation.
The technical studies which include engineering with a development construction strategy and motorway operating procedures will be executed through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) arrangement were expected to be concluded in 2021 according to the contract signed between the Ecowas and the consultants who are now demanding a variation which they say is caused by covid 19 lockdown.
The Ecowas and the AfDB signed an agreement for the six-lane road project in 2019.
At a press conference in Abuja, Friday, the AfDB task manager of the project, Mrs. Lydie Ehouman expressed the displeasure of the bank over the stoppage of the feasibility studies of the project by the consultants.
“This attitude of the consultants is not in conformity with the terms of the contract which foresee negotiations between the two parties in case of the cost but do not authorize the stop of the services”.
She stressed that the technical studies in which AfDB has made substantial investments was been greatly disrupted by the consultants using Covid pandemic are not tenable by the bank.
Mrs. Ehouman further announced that the bank has gotten 3.5 million euros from the EU for the feasibility studies of the project and working on mobilizing an additional sum of 12.63 million Euros grant from the EU.
The proposed road will connect five countries within the West African region and as well provide access to their seaports and rail networks. The countries are, Cote d Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin, and Nigeria.
Earlier, the president of AfDB, Dr. Akinwumi Adesina said 15.6 billion dollars in funding has been secured for the road project which is a major infrastructural development that will promote easy movement of people and commerce in the region.