The National Highway Company of Morocco has announced that it will be investing 1.24 billion Moroccan dinars ($120 million) in road construction throughout the kingdom during 2001, reported Al-Hayat. In 1999, the company invested MD 1.116 billion in road construction.
According to the company chairman, Othman Al-Fahry, the company had allocated $100 million toward the completion of a 95 km-long highway between Casablanca and Al-Jadida. During the course of 2001, the company will also be involved in the building of a highway linking the cities Tangier, Asila and Sidi A-Yemeni.
According to Al-Hayat, the National Highway Company of Morocco has set for itself a target of $42 million in net revenues for 2001, which would represent a 20 percent increase rise compared with last year.
Moroccan transport experts have said that about $30 billion must be invested in the national road network by 2010. For its part, in 1998 the government said that 1,500 km of highway must be built by that date. This will help develop trade opportunities between Morocco and Europe, and Morocco and the other Maghreb countries.
Among the roads on the drawing board are a Casablanca-Rabat-Tangier highway, which will enable the linking of North Africa to Europe. A Rabat-Fez-Oujda highway will link Morocco to its eastern neighbor, Algeria, thus linking it to a much wider project involving other North African nations.
Domestically, the Casa-Settat-Marrakech-Agadir project will strengthen the country’s north-south highway system, while the highway linking Casa-Al Jadida-Jofr Lasfar will allow the connection of major industrial zones. Agricultural, farming, and tourism sectors will benefit from the Agadir-Taroudant highway.
The government has made it clear that it will not be able to finance the entire system. Hence, the authorities are seeking alternative ways of building the highway system. One alternative is creation of toll roads, for which the National Highway Company of Morocco was originally set up in 1989. ¯ (Albawaba-MEBG)
© 2001 Mena Report (www.menareport.com )