The World Bank’s Rural Access and Mobility Project (RAMP) has tasked Enugu State government on establishment of Rural Road maintenance Fund (RRF) to ensure that rural roads are adequately maintained.
The National Coordinators of RAMP, Mr Ubandoma Ularamu, gave the task during a stakeholders’ workshop for the dissemination and adoption of Low Volume Road Manuals (LVRM) held in Enugu on Thursday.
“We advise that Enugu State endeavour to address institutionalisation of rural roads maintenance by creating Rural Roads maintenance Fund (RRF) to enable the state ensure sustainability of its numerous network of rural roads.
“This will propel the state towards participating in Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project (RAAMP), which is an upcoming programme of the World Bank and its development partners,’’ Ularamu said.
He noted that henceforth the LVRM manual would be used as a guide for engineers and other stakeholders in designing and maintaining rural roads in Enugu State and Nigeria in general.
He, however, noted that “maintenance of rural roads remains the key to ensuring that the roads constructed in the rural areas are put in a motorable condition all year round’’.
The national coordinator lauded Enugu State government for its immeasurable support in rural development; adding that “rural access roads remain the key to economic development of the country’’.
Earlier, while declaring the workshop open, Gov. Ifeanyi Ugwuanyi reiterated his administration’s determination to bring speedy development to the rural areas in the state.
Ugwuanyi, who was represented by the Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Simon Ortuanya, noted that his administration policy drive had helped in opening up rural communities through improved road infrastructure leading to a boost in agriculture and economic activities.
The governor commended the World Bank and the French Development Agency for their commitment in improving the life of the people of the state, especially its rural dwellers.
“This administration is ready to key into the next phase of RAMP, which is the Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project (RAAMP), in order to sustain rural development in the state,’’ he said.
In an address, the state’s Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Mr Greg Nnaji, described rural road infrastructure as key to economic development.
According to Nnaji, the Low Volume Road Manuals will improve the capacity of the State Project Monitoring Unit in discharging its duties.
In a welcome address, Project Coordinator, Enugu State RAMP, Mr Chinedu Ugwu, said that RAMP projects in the state have received tremendous support from Gov. Ugwuanyi by paying its counterpart funds.
Ugwu disclosed that RAMP had completed 330km of rural roads out of 385.42 km of rural roads targeted for construction and rehabilitation across various communities in the state in its first and second phase.
He noted that Gov Ugwuanyi’s unprecedented support fuelled the myriad of their achievements so far.