THE European Union Commission has announced intentions to invest €150 billion in commerce and transport infrastructure across West Africa, with a particular emphasis on the Lagos-Abidjan corridor.

According to the EU Commission, the effort, part of its Global Gateway effort, intends to abolish about 80 extortion checkpoints between the Benin Republic’s border and Lagos State.

Celine Lhoste, Team Lead of the EU Delegation to Nigeria and ECOWAS, announced this on Monday in Lagos during a tripartite meeting of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, the EU delegation, and ECOWAS.

“There is an investment package of €150bn for Africa and West Africa is an important region where we are already investing a lot along the Lagos-Abidjan corridor,” she tweeted.

“We are looking into potential investments to improve trade and transport along the corridor and in Lagos.”

The investment package under the global gateway project aims to reduce investment costs by leveraging a variety of funding sources, including private sector contributions and grants,” Lhoste said.

According to Lhoste, the EU is also in conversation with the Port of Antwerp about employing barges to reduce congestion and strengthen links between Nigeria’s seaports and hinterlands.

Jesus Gavilan, Transport Officer at the EU Commission’s Directorate General International Partnership, described the obstacles along the Lagos-Abidjan corridor, including the numerous checkpoints that impede smooth transportation between Benin and Nigeria.

“When travelling from the Benin border to Lagos, you may be checked at least 20 times, with 80 checkpoints. “This is a significant barrier to transport between the two countries,” Gavilan stated.

He mentioned that the EU was working on a one-stop border post between Benin and Nigeria to expedite the movement of products.

Earlier, Pius Akutah, Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, reaffirmed the council’s commitment to port efficiency and trade facilitation.

He also emphasised its importance in determining tariffs and handling fees to prevent cargo abandonment and shorten ship turnaround times.

Akutah, represented by Ms Ada Okam, Executive Director of Human Resources, requested EU investment in the development of critical transport infrastructure.

Mustapha Zubairu, Director of Special Duties at the NSC, stressed the necessity for a railway at the Lekki port to relieve congestion created by nearby industrial operations.

He advocated for EU investment in the area and emphasised the significance of consistent regulations along the regional corridor to ensure smooth freight flow.

Gabriel Eleojo Umoru
Gabriel Eleojo Umoru
I'm Gabriel Eleojo Umoru, a graduate of Mass Communication from Prince Abubakar Audu University (formerly Kogi State University Anyigba, Kogi State). My hobbies include writing, surfing the internet and listening to music. I'm into voice editing and project management. I also help people out in their research projects.

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