THE African Development Bank, ADB, is to bankroll the construction of rural/farm roads in 14 Local Government Areas of Anambra state at the cost of 50 million dollars, a top aid of the Anambra state Government has said.
The Project Coordinator of the Anambra Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project, RAAMP, Joe Onyejekwe, an engineer said the project would be sited in some select food producing corridors of the state.
According to him, diligent decisions were reached to site the projects within these food producing belts of the state — Ayamelum, Anambra East, Anambra West, Oyi, Dunukofia, Awka North, Awka, South, Orumba North, Orumba South, Aguata, Ihiala, Ogbaru, Idemili South and Anaocha.
He said the projects were originally conceived by the Federal Government, when it was established that the country was steadily losing 9.8 billion dollars annually in post harvest losses.
This stemmed from the inability of the food producing areas to readily access the markets to evacuate their harvests.
He said that the federal government then opened up discussions with two major funding agencies — the World Bank and the African Development based in Abidjan.
Onyejekwe, a Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Works, noted that it was in the bid to overcome this anomaly that the federal government then, projected to execute the jobs in 18 states.
He said that it was resolved that five states — Anambra, Borno, Benue, Taraba and Cross River States would be financed by the African Development Bank and the rest to be financed by the World Bank.
“The ADB has since accepted to bankroll the projects, promising each of the five states 50 million dollars. Their officials have made two major visits to Anambra State, during which they have interacted with the people from the concerned communities.
“They have all mutually agreed to work together toward the successful realisation of the projects,’’ he said.
Onyejekwe said that the project, which aims primarily at building all-season farm roads, would have complementing infrastructure and facilities like building of markets, Veterinary clinics, cottage industries, Road Safety Service centres, Storage facilities.
The benefitting communities would be trained on road maintenance and partnership with the private sector for the provision of transport for evacuation of farm produce.
The job would also entail resettlement of people, who might be displaced in the process for project delivery.
He confirmed that the Anambra State Government had demonstrated commitment by striving to meet all the local requirements to access the funding for the project.