The seventieth session of the Trans-Saharan Road Liaison Committee (TRLC) opened in Abuja, with President Muhammadu Buhari promising to continue giving special focus to the funding of the road.
While speaking at the opening on Monday, 11 November 2019, President Buhari said that the road would not only bolster economic activities but enhance regional and cultural integration in Africa.
The meeting holds every four years to review the progress of the resolutions made in previous sessions. This session will discuss resolutions from the sixty-ninth session and also get an update on the technical work on the trans-Saharan roads.
Buhari, who was represented by the Minister of Police Affairs, Alhaji Mohammed Dingyadi, said that he had decided to introduce changes that would ensure quality infrastructural development to drive economic development and job creation, in 2015.
“Our commitment is to increase Nigeria’s stock of road infrastructure in order to ease the cost and time of doing business and improve on economic competitiveness as envisaged under our Economic and Recovery Growth Plan,” he said.
The sub-Saharan road liaison committee, he said, aimed at encouraging member countries to develop roads of trans-Saharan within their respective territories.
“It is a pride to the African continent and that is why Nigeria has supported and will continue to support its existence.
“Special funds had been committed to the reconstruction works on the sections of trans-Saharan roads from Lagos to Ibadan and Kaduna to Kano and explained that other sections of the road from Ibadan to Ilorin, Ilorin to Jeba, Jeba to Makwa and to Kaduna, were either being dualised or been rehabilitated.
In his speech. Nigeria’s Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, noted that there exists a trans-African highway plan which is expected to connect the whole of Africa, starting from Cape Town to Tunisia.
“There is a coast to coast connectivity from the West to the East of Africa and North–East of African to the North-West of Africa and from the South–West of Africa to East Africa.
“A total of nine of the highways of the different stages of connectivity, three of these highways pass through Nigeria and of all these are at the point of completion.
“The roads serve 37 regions of Africa and connect 74 urban centres and 60 million people across the six member states who are part of the committee and on the local front. The road passes through Lagos through Ibadan, to Ilorin to Jeba to Kaduna to Kano where we share border with Republic of Niger,’’ he said.