MMDAs urged to protect land earmarked for Lagos-Abidjan Highway project
The Minister of Roads and Highways, Mr Kwasi Amoako-Atta, has urged Metropolitan, Municipal and District Assemblies to prevent encroachers from the land earmarked for the Lagos-Abidjan Highway corridor project.
They have also been charged to ensure the removal of illegal structures before the take-off of the project next year.
Mr Amoako-Atta said these in a speech read on his behalf by the Chief Director of the Ministry, Alhaji Dr Awullo Abbas, at a workshop aimed at sensitising local authorities on the economic importance of the project and what is expected of them to ensure its successful implementation.
It was attended by the Municipal and District Chief Executives of Ga East, Shai Osudoku, Akuapim South, Kpong-Katamanso, Ningo Prampram, officials of the Land Commission, engineers, traditional authorities, Environmental Protection officials and others stakeholders to be affected by the project and officials of the Ghana Highway Authority and the ministry.
The project being implemented by the ECOWAS Commission, the Minister explained would begin from Lagos, through Cotonou, to Lome to Accra and ends in Abidjan as such would need more land for its construction.
Ghana’s section of the six-lane dual carriageway is about 576 kilometres (km) and is being implemented under two lots.
Lot 1 begins from the Elubo border to Apimanim in the Western Region which is 110km, the Lot 2 which is 466 km starts from Apimanim to Akanu in the Ketu South and transverses through parts of Western, Central, Greater Accra, Eastern and Volta regions with possible tunnels in part of the Eastern Region.
Under the Article 5 of the Treaty establishing the Abidjan Lagos Corridor; member countries are obliged to make available land space on each side of the highway for the Right of Way (ROW) in order to accommodate the entire carriageway as well as for future expansion and developments, jointly address matters relating to resettlement compensation and protection of the ROW.
The Row required for the highway should be between 100 metres and 50 metres from the centre line on each side and may be more at interchanges and rest stop locations.
Mr Amoako-Atta explained that it was to address these challenges that the cooperation of all stakeholders are needed to ensure the successful completion of the project as Ghana’s section is the longest of the road project.
He indicated that the ministry expected them to assist in avoiding encroachment into the corridor to prevent any future litigation, loss of properties and livelihood that may result from the demolition of their unforeseen encroachments.
The mitigation of the negative impact is key to the project preparation that would ensure the safety of persons, protection of forests and river bodies, as well as securing the communities from road traffic accidents, he added.
The Minister said the government of Ghana and the ECOWAS Commission hold great economic and social benefit for the country as communities along the road would become direct beneficiaries.
FROM LAWRENCE VOMAFA-AKPALU, ABURI