Chinese firm expresses commitment to Trans-Saharan highway project

By Golfa Francis, Abuja


China Harbour Engineering Company (Nig) Ltd says it is committed to the timely completion of the Trans-Saharan highway within the Nigerian territory.

The Managing Director, Zhang Wenfeng made this known when members of the Trans-Saharan Road Liaison Committee who were in Abuja for their 70th session, inspected the 5.4km Abuja-Keffi expressway and dualisation of Abuja-Keffi-Makurdi road in Central Nigeria, handled by the company.

The project is located in the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, Nasarawa and Benue States, with a total length of 227.2 kilometre, including Abuja-keffi session and Keffi-Makurdi session.

With a contractual construction period of 36 months, 15 percent of the project funds are raised by the Nigerian government, and 85 percent are provided by the Export-Import Bank of China.

Lane auxiliary roads
The 5.4km Abuja-Keffi session is to build two lane auxiliary roads on both sides of the existing six lane section.

Abuja- Keffi-Makurdi session 221.8 kilometres is to expand the existing two way two lane section to two way four way section.

The main works of the project include; subgrade, bridge and culvate drainage, pavement, toll station, electro-mechanical and greening among others.

“Handling an important part of the project in Nigeria, the China Harbor Engineering Company is paying serious attention to its development and the ongoing project is one that would beef up the international connection to all regions in Africa,”Mr Wenfeng said.

He stated that; “the project will be directly connected to the West African coastal road, to Ghana, Côte D’Ivoire, and so on, through Lagos, and north to Niger; countries such as Algeria through Kano and east to countries such as Cameroon and Chad through Calabar.”

Improving transportation
Not only does the project improves the transportation circumstances in Nigeria, It also assembles a large international interconnection road network among West Africa, Central Africa, and North Africa, substantially enhancing the road conditions within the region.

Trans-Saharan Road Liaison Committee has an objective to contribute to the development of commercial exchanges through roads and promote regional integration in Africa.

The six African countries involved are Nigeria, Algeria, Chad, Mali, Niger and Tunisia.

The Nigerian Minister of Works and Housing, Babatude Fashola said so far, most parts of the trans-Saharan highway project jointly constructed by the six African countries have been asphalted accounting for a total of 80 percent of the entire project.


Mercy Chukwudiebere