By John Ighodaro
CALABARâ€”The Cross River State government is to strengthen its relationship with the African Development Bank (ADB) to ensure its projects were maintained and sustained for the benefit of its rural populace.
Governor Liyel imoke disclosed this while receiving Mr. Manuel Benard, Team Leader ADB Supervision Mission for Cross River State Rural Access and Mobility Project (CR-RAMP) during a courtesy call weekend at Government House in Calabar.
Imoke assured that the state will continue to work with ADB to realize the importance of access roads to ease the transportation of agricultural produce from the hinter land.
According to him, the state, which is currently undertaking the construction of 420 kilometres asphalted rural roads valued at N25 billion across the state through its rural Development Agency (RUDA), will undertake the dressing of the rural earth roads constructed by ADB because they do not survive in the rain forest zone of the country.
HeÂ explained that the state does not want ADBâ€™s investment to disappear months after the roads had been constructed due to the effects of heavy rainfall.
Mr. Manuel Benard, Team Leader African Development Bank (ADB) Supervision Mission for Cross River State Rural Access and Mobility Project (CR-RAMP), said the team was in the state to review and appraise as well as identify the bottlenecks affecting its project which was established in 2007.
He remarked that the team would, while making corrections, also collate information on the success of the project, as it looked forward to revising its civil works during the course of visiting project sites.
Engr. Charles Okongor, Permanent Secretary Ministry of Works and State Coordinator CR-RAMP, in an introductory address, said the project, which was established in the state about two years ago, has recorded some achievements, though with some challenges.
He added that Cross River takes the CR-RAMP to heart because it has constructed 274 kilometres of rural earth roads across the state.