Gov. AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq of Kwara has flagged off the construction of $60 million Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Projects (RAAMP) intervention road projects in the state.
AbdulRazaq, who was represented on Wednesday at the flag off by his deputy, Kayode Alabi, said that the government paid the N400m million counterpart fund to attract the intervention of RAAMP in the state.
According to him, the government cannot lay claim to promote food security or seek investment into the state when the roads were in bad shape, hence his commitment of huge resources into partnership with international agencies.
“Our administration has so far paid N400 million counterpart fund for the RAAMP to make these intervention possible. I commend the World Bank and the international donor agencies for their support.
“We cannot claim to promote food security or seek investment from outside when the roads are in bad shape.
“We cannot seek brighter future for future generations when our schools and other enabling infrastructure are in shambles,” AbdulRazaq said.
He expressed appreciation to all sponsors and donor agencies as well as the Ministry of Works and Transport, the state project monitoring committee and the state project implementation unit for their hard work and commitment.
Earlier, the state’s RAAMP Project coordinator, Mr Akorede Agboola, in his welcome address, commended Gov AbdulRazaq for scoring a first among the 13 states involved in RAAMP across the nation by being the first to flag of the construction project.
Agboola reiterated the importance of RAAMP assisted project in the opening and development of rural areas by creating accessibility to opportunities outside their domains.
He said that the flag off of the first 5.2km road in Alapa would, in no small way, help in reducing post-harvest losses, expose farmers to international trade and eliminate middlemen as well as improving the total economy of the rural areas and the state in general.
In his goodwill message, the National Coordinator of RAAMP, Mr Aminu Mohammed, also commended Kwara for being the first state to initiate the flag off of rural road construction under the RAAMP assisted initiative.
He reiterated that this action will put Kwara ahead of other states of the federation at least the first among the 13 participant states enjoying the RAAMP assistance.
The Speaker, Kwara State House of Assembly, Rt Hon. Yakub Danladi, said he was very glad at the timing of the flag off.
He added that the road construction would also benefit him because he passes through Alapa to reach his own constituency, which is characterized by poor road network requiring attention.
The speaker also commented that the action of Gov. AbdulRazaq was in tandem with his promise to ensure that the people of Kwara reap the dividends of democracy as promised during his campaigns.