Gov. Bello: transforming rural roads for economic development
The Niger state governor Abubakar Sani Bello, says his administration will spend over N6 billion on the surface dressing of some rural roads in the state to improve the economic status of the people.
Governor Bello who made this known at the official flag-off of the surface dressing of 250km rural roads rehabilitated under the Rural Access and Mobility Project II (RAMP 2) implementation in the state, held at Abuchi road, Izom, in Gurara LGA of the state, also said his administration was poised to improve the poor state of road infrastructure in the state.
The governor, who spoke through the state Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Hon. Haliru Zakari Jikantoro, disclosed that the first phase of the project covered a distance of 176 km with 30 river crossings.
He further said that the second phase of the project covering a distance of 403.5km were at various stages of completion, adding that 169km of rural roads were also rehabilitated under the Spot Improvement and Annual Mechanized Maintenance Intervention.
According to Gov. Bello, the entire projects were part of the World Bank (WB) and French Development Agency (FDA) co-financed initiative to improve transport conditions and bring sustained access to the rural populace through rehabilitation and maintaining key rural transport infrastructure in a sustainable manner.
He said that the surface dressing will increase the durability of the roads, adding that the state government embarked on the project to ensure that the huge investment in constructing the earthen roads does not go down the drains.
The state chief executive further stated that the six roads earmarked for this purpose are spread across the three geo-political zones of the state, and they are Suleja-Abuchi-Izom road, Wuya Suman-Lemu, Old Gawu-Farindoki, Kampanin Bobi-Bangi, Kutigi-Tashan Hajiya and Wuya Kanti-EtsuTasha road.
He said the exercise will drastically reduce the cost of transporting farm produce to the markets while reducing undue loss of perishable goods as well as increasing the productivity of the farmers.
He maintained that the road projects will help promote economic growth, social security, wealth creation and all year round access to basic services and facilities in the state.
The state chief executive appreciated the support of development partners in linking up of over 391 communities by road, and promised that his administration will continue to support the implementation of various development partner interventions in the state “to deepen our gains from the agricultural value chain.”
He announced that he had already given his consent for the state to participate in the implementation of RAMP 3 activities to further consolidate on the state government’s rural outreach.
The governor challenged the benefiting rural communities to take advantage of the gesture to ensure diligent maintenance of the projects.
Earlier in his welcome address, the permanent secretary, state Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, Dr. Ibrahim Garba Musa, described the project as another milestone, and a turning point in the rural communities’ development initiatives of the Bello administration.
He said that the roads selected for the upgrade were carefully done in clear manifestation of government’s commitment towards delivering dividends of democracy to the people of the state, saying the ministry is determined to transform the agricultural sector to be the driving force of the state economy.
In his remark also, the state coordinator of RAMP, Hassan Baba Etsu said it was in the wisdom of the state governor that he approved the surface dressing of the roads to increase its durability, adding that barriers will also be mounted on the beginning and end of the roads to prevent heavy duty vehicles from plying the roads because RAMP roads were not designed to carry heavy duty vehicles.