Not less than 700 kilometres of rural roads would soon be constructed by the Ondo state government as part of ways to achieve rapid development in rural communities of the state.
Kolawole Babatunde, Special Adviser on Rural Community Development to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, stated this during an interactive session with the members of Correspondents Chapel in Akure, on Sunday.
Babatunde said the rural roads will be constructed under the Rural Access and Marketing Project (RAAMP), which is the World Bank-assisted programme.
He explained that the construction of the rural roads in the state was important as it would reduce the consistent issues of food scarcity and lack of access to good roads by local farmers.
“The 700 KM road construction, which would be carried out in phases, would also be funded through World Bank and the state counterpart funds,” the governor’s aide added.
According to Babatunde, the soon-to-be-executed project will be broken down based on the roads the state government would be intervening on.
“So, we have gotten about €3.5 million and about U.S. $500,000. This is aside from the N1.4 billion governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has released as a counterpart fund to us.
“The way it works is that the funding has to get approval from the World Bank. We write to them stating the roads we are intervening in, the cost, then the World Bank will approve.”
While revealing that the Akeredolu administration keyed into RAAMP for ease of transportation of agricultural products and to prevent frequent spoilage of farm produce, Babatunde said the state will soon establish agro-logistics hub across the three senatorial districts of the state.
He, however, acknowledged the directorates of Rural and Community Development, the Ondo State Community and Social Development Agency (ODCSDA) and the Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project (RAAMP), as agencies of the World Bank assisting in projects in the state.
“So, for action, we take as directorates and agency, we get the approval of Mr Governor first. Then, it comes to us, we finetune, and then it goes to the World Bank.
“As counterpart fund, we have gotten N1.4 billion and when a state pushes such an amount, you could be rest assured of what will come in as World Bank intervention.”