The World Bank and the French Development Agency for Nigeria has commended Niger State for the rehabilitation and maintenance of rural road network across 120 communities in the state.
In a letter of commendation addressed to Governor Abubakar Sani Bello, jointly signed by the World Bank Country Director for Nigeria, Mr. Shubham Chaudhuri and the Country Director of French Development Agency for Nigeria, Mr. Pascal Grangereau, the development partners rated the government of Niger State as the best in the Rural Access and Mobility Project (RAMP-2).
In the letter, the development partners noted that The physical and financial progress of RAMP 2 in Niger State is at 84 and 91 per cent while a total of 176km of roads has been rehabilitated in the state, including another 404km under rehabilitation, in addition to 29 river crossings, consisting of culverts and bridges, which have also have been constructed.
The letter stated that the RAMP 2 project has impacted on many communities in the areas, creating easy access to health facilities, increased school enrolment, reduced transport costs and improved the living standard of the rural dwellers economically and socially.
“The cost of transportation has reduced by 40 per cent along project road corridors while post-harvest loss is reported to have dropped by 30 per cent,” the letter read.
It emphasised that the arrangement also generates employment opportunities for 216 men and women who undertake maintenance of the roads along their communities.
The development partners also commended the performance of the State Project Implementation Unit (SPIU), tasking them to continue to work hard to complete the remaining activities before the 30th of October, 2020 which is the closing date of the project.
“There are seven lots of road contracts that are nearing completion, the average percentage complete was 78 per cent. Furthermore, the construction of a bridge on Izom-Suleja road still has some important works yet to be completed. The completion of the remaining activities is achievable if the contractors continue to adhere to their work programme,” the letter further read.
In his address, the Commissioner of Agriculture, Haliru Zakari Jikantoro noted that the rehabilitated roads have led to the reduction of maternal mortality by 60 per cent and reduction of travel time by 45 per cent in the intervention areas.