The World Bank and the French Development Agency have worked with the Ogun State government to build and repair rural roads in the state.
The project called for the improvement of 125 kilometres of rural roads, the rehabilitation/backlog maintenance of 200 kilometres, the improvement of 450 kilometres on the spot, the routine maintenance of 700 kilometres of rural roads, and the construction of 100 meters of cross-drainage structures (culverts and bridges).
Aminu Mohammed, the National Coordinator of the Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project, revealed this through the Project’s Lead Infrastructure Engineer, Buka Abdulaziz, at a stakeholders’ workshop in Abeokuta, the State capital, on the finalisation of legislation on the establishment of the Rural Access Road Agency and the State Road Fund.
According to Mohammed, the project is being carried out in collaboration with the state Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project and the state Ministry of Rural Development, with the goal of reforming all rural roads in the state.
He stated that the program’s plan is to ensure quality, and he promised that no compromises would be made.
He described RAAMP as a third-generation rural access project aimed at improving rural access and agricultural marketing in participating states.
He also stated that the project would strengthen the financing and institutional foundation for effective rural road development, maintenance, and management.
“We have developed specifications for rural roads, as well as a standard,” he said. Furthermore, as part of this program, we have a quality assurance plan and a quality assurance manual, so you can be confident that the program will provide all-season roads of the highest quality.
“Sustainability, on the other hand, must come from sustainable funding, and we are looking into how the private sector, the road users, can also come and play a role in maintenance management and the development of the rural roads in Ogun State, so that at the very least, the embodiment of the road users and the private sectors can raise their hands.”
“We are going to supplement the government’s effort because we know that the government now has an overburdened need for healthcare and other basic amenities, and they can even change policies, but in general, the sustainable funding, also the private sector has to come in, that’s the thinking and part of the reform.”
Jamiu Odetoogun, the state Commissioner for Rural Development, revealed that the state will make use of the interventions, which he claims will improve rural communities’ transportation systems.
He also stated that commendable efforts and mercenaries will be deployed to address the challenges of bad roads on rural roads as soon as possible.
“There is no doubt that a greater percentage of our rural roads could benefit from various interventions that will alleviate challenges for our rural dwellers on roads and improve the ease of transportation of agricultural produce from farms to markets and urban communities,” he said.
Gbenga Dairo, the state Commissioner for Transportation, also spoke, pleading for more attention to be paid to rural roads in the state, claiming that they are critical to the state’s economic development.
He went on to say that the intervention is critical in understanding the administration’s agenda.
“So this program is important, it’s interesting, and it would key into the agenda of Prince Dapo Abiodun’s administration,” he said.