Akwa Ibom, 17 other states to share $500 million World Bank fund

Akwa Ibom, 17 other states to share $500 million World Bank fund

The Federal Government has expressed determination to provide suitable road network for rural farmers to convey their farm produce to the market to avoid losses.

Speaking in Abuja on Friday, the National Coordinator of Rural Access and Mobility Project, RAMP, Ularamu Ubandoma, said “The whole essence of the project sponsored by the World Bank, French Development Bank and Africa Development Bank is to provide suitable road network for rural farmers to convey their farm produce to the market to avoid losses.

“What we are doing here today is a meeting with new RAAMP states. New RAAMP is rural access and agricultural marketing and we have about 18 states that have been selected to participate in this new project all over the country.

“In the North East, we have Borno, Bauchi and Taraba. In North Central, we have Plateau, Benue, Kogi and Kwara. In North West, we have Kano, Kastina, Sokoto and Kebbi. “In South East, we have Abia and Anambra. In South South, we have Cross River and Akwa Ibom. In South West, we have Ogun, Oyo and Ondo States. These are states that emergence from the six geo-political zones.

“The new RAAMP3 will be a little different from the usual RAMP1 and 2, and we have implemented projects in seven states and these projects are almost 100 per cent conclusion.

“The only difference is that we are targeting RAAMP3 in line with president Buhari’s policy on agricultural transformation.

“The policy is implemented through the Green Agricultural Alternative under the leadership of the Minister of Agriculture Chief Audu Ogbeh.

“The thinking now is zero rejection of our agricultural produce at the international markets.

“We are going to target markets and the value chains by adding value to our agricultural produce right from production level. We will be looking at storage and processes.

“We want to know how these produce can access different level of markets. We are trying to shift away from the usual market not considering the rural people.

“We are now considering the rural people because they form the bulk of our production level and they are predominantly farmers living in the rural areas.

“We believe if we develop the rural farmers through the provision of markets, definitely the economy will improve and we will be earning foreign exchange through exportation.

“World Bank has been providing assistance to Nigerian government for many years and we have standard for procedure in execution of any project in the country.

“The Federal Government will receive the fund they lent to states. We have mechanism to process the procurement process to ensure that value for money is achieved and transparency in transaction.

“At the end of the day, money intended for any project is used correctly. We do direct checking of the projects across all the states. The states bring back the money if they cannot achieve the set project.

“We do field visit to ensure that the goods are delivered in appropriate time and ensure standard,” he revealed.

 

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