Governor Abubakar Bello of Niger State has approved N6 billion for surface dressing of 230 kilometres roads under Rural Access and Mobility Project, RAMP, to address infrastructural deficit in the state.
The state’s RAMP Project Coordinator, Hassan Baba disclosed this during a news conference in Minna on Tuesday.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that RAMP is intervening in the area of rehabilitation and maintenance of key rural transport infrastructure in a sustainable manner in selected states in the country.
The project is being funded by the World Bank and French Development Agency and RAMP is in partnering with Niger government to upgrade and rehabilitate rural transport infrastructure.
Mr Baba added that the governor also approved N1.6 billion for payment of compensations, resettlements, allowances, taxes and staff training, adding that government had paid N206 million out of N400 million counterpart fund.
He also disclosed that RAMP had successfully completed the construction and rehabilitation of 176 kilometres rural roads across the state from 2013 to date.
He noted that about 728, 891 people were benefitting from the intervention programme, adding that the project had helped reduced maternal mortality by 60 per cent.
“RAMP intervention has improved access to health facilities, increased school enrollment, reduced cost of transportation, post harvest loss and increased access to farm inputs among others,” he said.
Mr Baba said that N9.4 billion was expended on projects under phase one and two RAMP intervention programme, adding that the roads have 15 to 20 years life span.
He said that the roads were constructed and rehabilitated across the three geo-political zones of the state.
He added that RAMP intervention had engaged 180 members of communities from the intervention areas and created 215 jobs for youths under Community Based Road Maintenance Scheme.
The project coordinator said that the engaged youths were being paid monthly stipend of N20,000 to carry out maintenance on the roads for sustainability.