Minna – A total of N9 billion has been earmarked for the rehabilitation of 403 kilometers of rural roads in Niger under the second phase of Rural Access and Mobility Project (RAMP), the state coordinator of the project, Malam Hassan Etsu, has said.
Etsu made the disclosure on Friday in Minna after a bidding process which involved 46 companies that indicated interest in the road projects.
“The total cost of rehabilitating these roads measuring 403 kilometers is N9 billion,’’ he said.
Etsu said that out of the 25 local government areas in the state 13 had benefited in the first phase.
According to him, work is ongoing to rehabilitate 104 kilometers of rural roads under the first phase, amounting to N1 billion.
“The remaining local government areas that will benefit in this project are those not affected by urban development,’’ he said.
The coordinator said that rehabilitation of the rural roads would involve expansion, surface dressing, construction of drainage and culverts.
He said that successful contractors would emerge one month after the bidding process and work would immediately start at the various sites and completed in 18 months.
Etsu said that the target was to open up rural areas so as to enhance access to health service thereby maternal and infant mortality.
He added that the project would impact positively on the socio-economic lives of the people.
“Our people can live in the rural areas and work in the urban areas instead of everybody scrambling to live in the city.
“Transport fare will no longer be a burden for the people and farmers transporting farm produce to the market,’’ he stressed.
He explained that the project was a collaboration between the state government and World Bank to improve the lives of rural dwellers.
Earlier, Dr Ibrahim Musa, Permanent Secretary, State Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development said that the bidding was done in a transparent manner with the contractors and civil Society Organisations present.
“This is part of due process to ensure public confidence and transparency in the award of contracts,’’ he said.
Also, Mr Ogunbusola Solomon, Chairman, S and M Nigeria Limited, one of the companies that bidded for the project said that the process was transparent.
“As far as I am concerned the bidding process was transparent, so I will score you 99 per cent,’’ he said.
Five states; Niger, Osun, Enugu, Adamawa and Imo are participating in the RAMP. (NAN)