Abuja – The World Bank and French Development Agency have injected 370 million dollars into rural roads development in the country as part of efforts to ensure sustainable rural development
Dr Tunji Ahmed, Transport Specialist, World Bank, in Abuja on Tuesday said that the Bank was contributing 250 million dollars, while French Development Agency was offering 120 million dollars.
He said the programme was being implemented in conjunction with the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, under the Federal Government’s Rural Access and Mobility Programme (RAMP).
Ahmed said the first phase of the project being handled by the World Bank at 60 million dollars, included construction and rehabilitation of 472 km rural roads and 132 rivers crossing in Kaduna, as well as construction of more than 474 km rural roads in Cross River.
He said the implementation of RAMP in Kaduna and Cross River States had shown that given the right guidance and provision of appropriate implements, all the states of the federation could sufficiently address the challenges of rural transport infrastructure development and management.
Ahmed said that under the second phase of the programme in 2012, more than 310 million dollars would be spent, with 190 million dollars coming from the World Bank, while French Development Agency would inject 120 million dollars.
He said the next stage of the programme would be implemented in Enugu, Niger, Adamawa and Osun States.
Ahmed said when completed, the programme would enhance socio-economic activities in the rural communities and assist Federal Government’s transformation agenda in the agriculture sector in the rural areas.
He explained that the initiative had become imperative, because rural transformation was the key to development and structural change in Nigeria.
Ahmed said the ongoing projects in Cross River and Kaduna States had indicated that when fully completed, they would contribute to the provision of job opportunities, diversification and acceleration of economic growth and environmental sustainability.
He said the World Bank was determined to support the Federal Government’s agricultural transformation agenda, especially in the area of rural development. (NAN)