ECOWAS, ADB sign railway accord

Abuja- Nigeria (PANA) -- ECOWAS and the African Development Bank (ADB) Thursday in Abuja signed a loan agreement for the feasibility study of a sub-regional railway Master Plan.
The 14-month study is expected to cost 3.
1 million US dollars.
Speaking at the signing ceremony, Bisi Ogunjobi, Vice-president of ADB, said the study would provide ECOWAS member States with "sound recommendations on investment viability and technical feasibility of the 16 railway links identified in the Master Plan".
He said the study would also provide the basis for investment decisions in railway infrastructure that would lead to the opening up of land-locked countries in the sub-region.
In addition, "it should play a catalytic role in attracting investments in areas such as mining and industries," the ADB official added.
According to him, "the outcome of the study is also expected to play a role in providing incentives to those in the private sectors interested in getting into railway operations and allied businesses".
ECOWAS Executive Secretary said the railway system, which had complemented road transport particularly in mass transit and haulage of agricultural produce had suffered serious neglect over the years.
"It is to correct this neglect and allow the railway to play its full role in the development process that the Heads of State of the sub-region adopted the railway Master Plan," he said.
Chambas said the Master Plan was part of efforts to improve accessibility and enhance connectivity and trade within the sub-region, and with the rest of the world.

12 december 2002 18:56:00




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