The World Bank and French Development Agency involved in the construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of rural roads have rated Niger as the best in Nigeria in terms of the project implementation under the Second Rural Access and Mobility Project (RAMP-2).
Prof. Yahaya Kuta, Team Leader, RAMP II, disclosed this during a stakeholders’ sensitisation workshop organised by RAMP in conjunction with the Niger state Ministry of Agriculture in Minna on Thursday.
He disclosed that the state was rated best in a letter addressed to state Gov. Abubakar Bello, by Mr Shubham Chaudhuri, World Bank Country Director for Nigeria and Mr Pascal Grangereau, the Country Director of French Development Agency for Nigeria.
Kuta said that the development partners observed that the state was the best in terms of procurement, safeguards, financial management and technical experience in managing rural roads.
He added that the roads rehabilitated and river crossings constructed provided access to over 120 communities with an estimated population of 342,000 people in the state.
Kuta said that beside rehabilitating 176km of roads, 404km roads were under rehabilitation, in addition to building 29 culverts and bridges.
“The cost of transportation has reduced by 40 per cent along project road corridors while post-harvest loss has dropped by 30 per cent,” he said.
He said the road projects had provided employment for 216 men and women in rural communities of RAMP intervention through road maintenance.
He urged the state Project Implementation Unit (SPIU) to complete the remaining activities before Oct. 30, when the project would have ended.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that RAMP II commenced in November 2013 to ease movement of agriculture produce from rural areas to urban areas.