The minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has said that the trans-saharan roads linking Abuja with Algiers in Algeria will be completed in three years.
Mr Fashola said this during a joint inspection visit to the on-going Abuja-Keffi-Akwanga-Lafia-Markudi and the Abuja-Kaduna roads which are part of the trans-saharan roads.
The inspection was part of the programme scheduled for a 2-day 70th Session of the Trans Sahara Road Liaison Committee, TRLC, which began on November 11 in Abuja.
He said: “ What we are concerned with in this committee is the Lagos to Algiers highway.
“The Lagos-Ibadan-Oyo road, the Jebba-Mokwa-Kaduna-Kano road, and the Abuja-Kano road are the major components.
“`So Mali is doing its own, Algeria is doing its own, Niger is doing its own. Every country is handling their own.
“The Abuja-Kaduna-Zaria-Kano Dual Carriageway of 375.9km has three sections and would all be completed within three years,’’ Fashola said.
He added that part of the project which is handled by China Harbour Engineering Company Limited (CHEC) is the expansion of 5.4km of the Abuja-Keffi Expressway and Dualisation of the Keffi-Akwanga-Lafia-Makurdi road.
The project is located in FCT, Nasarawa and Benue states, with a total length of 227.2km, including the Abuja-Keffi and Keffi-Makurdi sections.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the 5.4km Abuja-Keffi section will have two-lane auxiliary roads on both sides of the existing six-lane section.
The 221.8km Keffi-Makurdi section will see an expansion of the existing two-way two-lane section to a two-way four-lane section.
According to Fashola, the main works to be done in the execution of the project include sub-grade, bridge, and culvert, as well as drainage and pavement.
He added that the road would have an electromechanical toll station that would be completed in March 2022.
The Secretary-General of the TRLC, Ayadi Mohammed, said that the inspection of the project provided a good opportunity for the committee members to evaluate the state of the construction of the roads.
According to him, the work the committee members have seen so far is technically sound.
NAN further reports that the roads are expected to serve 37 regions in Africa and connect 74 urban centres as well as 60 million people across the six countries that are members of the committee.
On the local front, the road will pass through Lagos and Ibadan, to Ilorin, Jeba, Kaduna and to Kano where Nigeria shares border with the Republic of Niger.
The committee session holds every four years.
The trans-Saharan road liaison committee is made up of six countries, namely: Nigeria, Niger, Chad, Tunisia, Algeria, and Mali.
The committee was formed in 1966 to establish a road link across the six countries to encourage growth, socio-economic activities, development, cooperation, and trade.