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Thursday, July 18, 2024

FG reiterates commitment to Abidjan-Lagos corridor initiative

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By. Chimezie Godfrey

The federal government says it will continue to play a crucial role in the sustenance of the activities of the Abidjan-Lagos Corridor Organisation (ALCO) in facilitating free movement of goods and people among member countries.

The ALCO is an initiative of five coastal African countries of Cote d’Ivoire, Ghana, Togo, Benin Republic and Nigeria established in 2002 with the objectives of prevention, treatment, care and support on HIV/AIDS, as well as facilitation of trade and transport relations in line with the protocols of the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS).

The Minister of State for Transportation, Prince Ademola Adegoroye, while receiving the Secretary-General of ALCO, Mr. Idrissa Kone, in his office in Abuja, saluted the vision of the founding fathers of the organization, stressing that its advantages cannot be over-emphasized.

Adegoroye, who lauded the efforts of President Muhammadu Buhari in promoting regional integration in Africa, said Nigeria must do everything possible to sustain and improve on the initiative.

The Minister then promised that the federal government will fulfill its outstanding commitments to the organization, urging ALCO to also explore other sources of funding for its activities, especially regular collection of data.

Speaking earlier, the ALCO Secretary-General, Mr. Idrissa Kone, said the organization has recorded a lot of achievements along the corridor in the last 20 years of its existence, especially in the promotion of regional integration among the five member states.

Accompanied by the Program Coordinator, Dr. Abdel-Aziz Fagbemi, Kone urged the Nigerian government to work towards reducing the number of checkpoints and harassment of people by security agencies along the Nigerian border roads as this has constituted a major challenge to free movement of people and goods.

The Minister, who made the promise when he received the leadership of Female Drivers Association of Nigeria (FEDAN) in his office in Abuja, said female commercial drivers are special and must be encouraged to flourish in their chosen profession.

Adegoroye said the federal ministry of transportation will look into the request of the association to have female professional drivers employed into the ministry, stressing the need for government to give the needed recognition to female drivers.

Speaking earlier, the President of the association, Mrs. Eunice Odeghe, said FEDAN was formed to bring all women professional drivers and automobile workers together under one umbrella to promote their interests and to deal with their challenges.

The association later decorated the Minister as a its Patron.

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