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Rural access road infrastructure are important determinants of the success of a nation’s effort in diversifying her economic base, expanding trade and linking together resources and markets into an integrated economy.
SALIFU USMAN takes a look at the haste of state governments, particularly the non-RAMP states, to benefit from $500m loan facility from the World Bank for road construction in rural areas
Perhaps, in appreciation of this and conscious of the fact Nigeria is grappling with road infrastructures long overdue for reconstruction, the Federal Government initiated the Rural Access and Mobility Project (RAMP), with support from World Bank, French Development Agency and the African Development Bank.
Since the beginning of the World Bank intervention project in 2008 in Kaduna and Cross River states as ‘pilot’ projects, it has led to the construction and rehabilitation of 472 rural road networks and 135 ‘river crossings’ with additional 15 ‘river crossings’ on-going in Kaduna State.
The road networks, culverts or crossings, have linked communities that were previously separated by river crossings. Other notable benefits of RAMP include digitization and production of a road network map, showing the location of all roads in the states where the projects are ongoing.
Spurred by the successes of the Kaduna and Cross River stories and those of other states, the huge interest which the projects have generated nationwide, the urgent need to return the nation’s economy from its present state of oil-dependence to agricultural boom through increased farmers’ access to farm inputs and markets, reducing post-harvest losses, among others, the scaling up of the project to the third phase of additional $500m loan facility from the World Bank for rural road constructions has set states scrambling.
According to experts, RAMP which includes maintenance, as a sustainability measure, would not only help to protect the huge investment on the roads but also provides job opportunities for the people.