Abia has received $60m (about N21bn) for the execution of the World Bank-assisted Rural Access and Mobility Project in the state, Gov. Okezie Ikpeazu, has said.
Ikpeazu said this on Thursday in Umuahia at a one-day workshop for stakeholders organised by the state RAMP on “The prioritisation of intervention areas and rural road links in Abia’’.
Represented by the Commissioner for Finance, Mr Obinna Oriaku, he said that the World Bank approved the facility for the construction of rural link roads across the state as an intervention for the development of Abia.
He urged the benefiting communities to cooperate with the contractors to ensure quick completion of the projects.
He further admonished the communities not to demand “marching ground” from the contractors.
The “marching ground’’ is money demanded by community youths before allowing project development in their area.
The governor further announced that the state also received $56m from the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project.
He said that already, some erosion sites had started receiving attention from the NEWMAP facility.
In his speech, the National Coordinator of RAMP, Mr Ubandoma Ularamu, said that 500kms length of roads linking many rural communities would be constructed across the state out of the targetted 900kms roads.
Ularamu said that the roads, which lead to markets, hospitals and cottage industries, were selected because of their economic importance.
He said that a structure that incorporated the benefitting communities had been designed for the regular maintenance of the roads after their construction.
Meanwhile, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Economic Development and Poverty Reduction, Very-Rev. Ernest Onyeukwu, said that the workshop was organised to sensitise and mobilise all the stakeholders for a fruitfulness project execution and maintenance.
Onyeukwu, who commended RAMP and the state government for their initiative, appealed to the communities to make their contributions toward the realisation of the project.
No fewer than 400 stakeholders, including traditional rulers and representatives of different communities, participated in the workshop.