Road: Trans Sahara Committee Inspects Roads Within Nigerian Territory
The Trans-Saharan Road Liaison Committee (TRLC) has inspected some of the road projects within the Nigerian territory as part of activities lined up for the 70th session of the committee which took place in Abuja, Nigeria from the 11th -12th of November 2019
The Member countries of the TLC are; Niger, Mali , Algeria Chad ,Tunisia and Nigeria.
Nigeria's Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola,SAN who conducted his colleagues round the project sites said “ it is the tradition of the committee that the host country should take other members on inspection of the road projects under its territory in order to see level of progress and compliance on the routes.
Fashola explained that Nigeria accounts for over 1000 kilometets length out of the over 9000 kilometers roads in the six sub-saharan countries.
He further explained that in compliance with the local content executive order, Nigerian companies are given preference over foreign companies in the award of the contracts.
Accordingly the Minister also stated that there were nine highways at different levels of construction that would connect Nigeria with the rest of Africa along the Trans-Sahara routes, pointing out that the ultimate aim was to transform those roads to highways of vehicles and trucks to link them to the ports for ease of doing business.
The Minister listed Lagos - Algiers as one of such routes that would connect Nigeria with other parts of Africa, saying that the route cuts across Lagos-Ibadan, Oyo , Ogbomosho, Ilorin, Jebba , Mokwa, Kaduna and Kano leading to the Niger Republic.
The team inspected the rehabilitation works of Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano dual carriageway which is being handled by Julius Berger Nig Ltd, the 5.4Km Abuja –Keffi expressway and dualisation of Keffi-Akwanga -Lafia-Makurdi road being handled by China Harbour Engineering Company Limited.
The delegation from the member countries on the inspection commended Nigerian Government for the local content policy in the construction industry, hoping that such could be replicated in other member countries.
25th Meeting of the National Council On Works
2019 URBAN OCTOBER: FG Calls for Collective Resolve for Sustainable Urban Development
Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN, has called for a collective reflection, stocktaking and strengthening partnerships, to accelerate action in the pursuit for sustainable urban development in Nigeria.
Fashola made the call in his keynote address at the commemoration of the 2019 World Habitat Day and World Cities Day yesterday in Abuja.
The 2019 Urban October has the themes:“Frontier technologies as an innovative tool to transform waste to wealth” and “Changing the World: Innovations and a Better Life for Future Generations “
The Minister of State for Works and Housing, Engr. Abubakar D.Aliyu, read the keynote address on behalf of Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola,SAN, the Minister of Works and Housing.
Fashola said we all have the responsibility to shape the future of our cities and build the type of cities we desire for our good health and well-being, and for that of our future generation.
Fashola disclosed that in partnership with UN Habitat the Federal Government had embarked on the review of the National Urban Development Policy as well as implementing urban renewal and slum upgrading programmes in several urban communities across the country.
With a view to creating smart and sustainable cities across the nation, the minister maintained that the administration of President Muhammadu Buhari has not relented in its commitment to making sure that Nigerians have a better life by addressing the housing and infrastructure challenges and those posed by unplanned cities which led to increased slums and shanties.
He listed the various programmes already embarked upon by the Government through his ministry, which include: the on-going National Housing Programme, the launch of the National Maintenance Framework for Public Building as well as the review of the Urban Development Policy.
In his welcome address the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mohammed Bukar, said the celebration of the World Cities Day around the world was to enable us view cities as drivers and incubators of innovations, industries, technology, entrepreneurship and creativity in ground breaking ways to achieve lasting impacts on the communities, and to ensure that "No one and no place is left behind as we build the future we want."
In her goodwill message, the Executive Director, UN HABITAT, Mrs. Maimunah Moh Sharif, called on stakeholders to identify ways to overcome challenges confronting urbanisation in a way that everyone’s life could be improved.
She noted that cities are the best place of innovation and creativity, assuring that UN Habitat would be ready to fully support the Federal Government in her bid to create sustainable urbanization.
The Chairman Senate committee on Housing, Senator Sam Egwu represented by his Vice, Senator Oyelola Isa Ashiru pledged the Committee’s full support towards achieving a sustainable development of our cities.
The highlights of the event were:the Honourable Minister’s inspection of the exhibition stands and presentation of gifts to students of Witty Might Academy, Holy Child Educational Homes and Fine Trust Academy for song rendition, poem and drama presentation at the 2019 Urban October celebrations.
Speech Delivered By The Honourable Minister Of Works And Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN At The Opening Ceremony Of The 70th Session Of The Trans Sahara Road Liaison Committee (TRLC)
I am pleased to welcome the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, His Excellency, Muhammadu Buhari, who is represented by Muhammad Maigari Dingyadi, Hon. Minister of Police Affairs to the 70th Session of the Trans Sahara Road Liaison Committee. I especially thank his Excellency, on behalf of the Trans Sahara Road Liaison Committee for granting us the approval to host this Session in Nigeria.
2. I will also like to extend a special welcome to Member Country Ministers in charge of road infrastructure from Republic of Tunisia, Peoples Democratic Republic of Algeria, Republic of Mali, Republic of T’chad and Republic of the Niger. The last Ministerial meeting of the TRLC was held in 2014 in Algiers, Algeria therefore I believe there is a lot of information the Secretariat and the Experts will be sharing with us over the next two days.
3. Every session of the TRLC has the objective of discussing issues relating to the route, the financing and relationship with continental organisations such as the African Union Commission (AUC), African Development Bank (AfDB), New Partnership for African Development (NEPAD), Arab Bank for Economic Development in Africa (BADEA) and Organisation of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) who are our partners in the development of the Trans Sahara Road (TSR).
4. In this light, the TRLC member countries would like to appreciate the contributions of these organisations in no small measure towards the development of the route.
5. Before going into some of the details, I believe that Nigeria’s hosting of this event, necessitates that we provide some background information about what this is about and what it means for ordinary Nigerians:
* To start with it is useful for every African to be aware of the existence of a Trans African Highway Plan seeking to connect Africa from Cape Town to Tunisia either by driving through East Africa Border, the West African Border or through the Centre of Africa.
* There is also a Coast to Coast connectivity from West to East Africa, North East Africa to North West Africa and South West Africa to East Africa.
* A total of 9 (Nine) Highways at different stages of construction are meant to achieve this connectivity. Three of these Highways pass through the Territory of Nigeria, namely:
(a) Lagos – Dakar (through Seme in Benin Republic);
(b) Lagos – Mombasa (through Yaoundè in Cameroon); and
(c) Lagos – Algiers, which is the one supported by this Committee and this is the subject of our meeting.
* This road covers 9,022km (7,171km 80%) is asphalt while 1,851km (20%) is earth road.
* It serves 37 regions, 74 urban centres with 60 million inhabitants in 6 (six) Countries who are members of this Committee. It is important to underscore here that the critical part of the Trans Sahara Highway which in centuries past is plied by Camels and Horses for trade has now developed for use by vehicles.
* For Nigerians it is important to know that 1,131km of the 9,022km passes through our country from Lagos to Ibadan, Ilorin – Jebba, Kaduna – Kano – Kongolam where we have a border with Niger Republic.
6. The development of the Trans Sahara Route is to ensure integration, improvement of economic activities and cooperation between Member Countries. This will provide the business community access to explore and maximise the enormous economic opportunities available within member countries. There are immense possibilities from Fashion, Agriculture, Technology, Energy to Film and Music.The journey from 1960 when the Trans Sahara Route (TSR) was established till date has not been easy, but concerted efforts must be made at realising the objectives of the TSR.
7. The entire section of the 1,131km long Trans Sahara Route in Nigeria from Lagos – Ibadan – Ilorin – Kaduna – Kano – Kongolam Niger Republic Border has asphalt surfacing. The current activity on the various section of the route are as follows:
* The Lagos-Ibadan road is 127km long. The Lagos-Shagamu section (43.6Km) is being developed into a 3-lane dual carriageway while the Shagamu-Ibadan section (83.4Km) is being reconstructed as a 2-lane dual carriageway.
* The Ibadan-Ilorin section of the road is a dual carriageway of 160km long out of which 105.5km has been dualised leaving only 54.2km that is in progress of being dualised. The old alignment is being maintained to ensure free flow of traffic at all times.
* The Ilorin-Jebba-Birnin Gwari-Kaduna section of the route is 458km long single lane carriageway. The Ilorin-Jebba section that is 105km long has been fully rehabilitated and is currently being dualised while the Jebba-Mokwa-Birnin Gwari-Kaduna section (353km) is also being considered for future dualisation.
* Kaduna – Kano dual carriageway which is 230km long is under reconstruction and the work is currently being executed in three sections to enable speedy completion.
* Kano – Kazaure – Kongolam Section is 133km long and is a single lane carriageway.
8. The progress of works that we are achieving on these routes in the coming weeks and months will strengthen integration, cultural cooperation and economic trade and competition in the African Continental Free Trade Area.
9. The importance of the Trans Sahara Route to the Nigeria economy is underlined by the priority Mr. President has placed on the funding, wherein, the reconstruction of the Lagos – Ibadan Section and the Kaduna – Kano Section is included under Presidential Infrastructure Development Fund (PIDF) to ensure that there is no funding gap associated with the execution of the works, and the recent signing of the African Continental Free Trade Area (ACFTA) Treaty.
10. While Trade and cultural integration are important, safety is also paramount and I am delighted to announce that just last Wednesday the Federal Executive Council approved that Nigeria should ratify and domesticate the African Road Safety Charter adopted at 26th ordinary session of the African Union Commission in January 2016 in Addis Ababa.
11. Once more, my gratitude goes to His Excellency, President Muhammadu Buhari for hosting of the 70th session of the TRLC in Nigeria and the support given to the development of the section of the Trans Sahara road in Nigeria, to the Member Country Ministers for the support they have given to the development of the Trans Sahara Road within their respective countries and for the support of our financial partners over the years.
12. I also congratulate Member Country Experts and the Secretary General for a job well done and to remind you that there is still a lot of work that is yet to be accomplished.
13. You are all welcome to the 70th Session of the Trans Sahara Road Liaison Committee, you are most welcome to Abuja, the capital city of Nigeria, and you are especially welcome to Nigeria.
Babatunde Raji Fashola, SAN
FASHOLA ALIYU OBASEKI OLU OF WARRI OTHERS AT THE PUBLIC PRESENTATION OF A BOOK TITLED NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AND HUMAN SECURITY ESSAY AND MATERIALS IN HONOUR OF A DISTINGUISHED ALUMNUS BABATUNDE FASHOLA SAN AT THE UNIVERSITY OF BENIN BENIN CITY EDO STATE
Hon Minister of Works Housing Mr Babatunde Fashola SAN 2nd left Minister of State in the Ministry Engr Abubakar Aliyu right representative of the Special Guest of Honour and Governor of Edo State Commissioner of Infrastructure Engr Amiolemen Abraham Osahon 2nd right and the Olu of Warri Godfrey Emiko left during the public presentation of a book titled National Development and Human Security Essays and Materials in Honour of a Distinguished Alumnus Babatunde Raji Fashola SAN at the Akin Deko Main Auditorium University of Benin Benin City Edo State on Thursday 14th November 2019
SENATE PRESIDENT SWEARS IN SENATOR BIODUN OLUJIMI
President of the Senate Ahmad Lawan during the swearing in of the senator representing Ekiti South Senatorial District Senator Biodun Olujimi at the National Assembly on Thursday November 14 2019