Oyo State Government in collaboration with the Federal Government is set to embark on construction of 70 rural roads in the state, to make life more bearable for rural dwellers and enhance easy transportation of farm produce from the farm to the cities.
Commissioner for Agriculture, Natural Resources and Rural Development, Prince Oyewole Oyewumi disclosed this at a stakeholders’ meeting on prioritisation of rural roads, held recently, at Saki, Atiba and Ido Local Government Areas of the state.
Oyewole, who spoke through the Permanent Secretary of the Ministry, Mr. Victor Atilola, said 70 durable rural roads with total length of over 700 kilometres are to be constructed in 28 agrarian LGAs of the state based on priority and recommendation of community leaders under the Rural Access and Mobility Project (RAMP III) project to further promote agricultural practices in identified areas and the state at large.
He appealed to stakeholders in the beneficiary communities to give the contractor in charge of the roads the needed support as the project progresses.
In his remarks, the National Project Coordinator, Rural Access and Mobility Project, Engr. Ubandoma Ularamu said $60 million would be given to Oyo state to construct rural roads and river crossing in the needed localities, adding that compensation awaits families or individuals who may suffer damage or loss in the process of constructing the roads.
While responding to questions from participants, the State Project Coordinator, RAMP III, Dr. Yode Ayanlowo said the project was designed to ensure that farmers at rural areas have access to good road network to transport their farm produce to the market places with ease.
In his remarks, the consultant in charge of the project, Mr. Abiola Sappor, while describing the laudable project as personal programmes of members of the beneficiary communities, said the construction of the selected rural roads would commence immediately the World Bank and French Development Bank examine the report of the stakeholders’ meeting to be presented to the two foreign partners by the State Rural Access and Mobility Project Implementation Unit and National Coordinating Office of Rural Access and Mobility Project (RAMP) in Abuja.
He commended members of the community for the support given to his team while carrying out survey on selected rural roads and assured them of motorable roads that would stand the test of time.
In his address, the Alaafin of Oyo, His Imperial Majesty, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi III, who was represented by the Iba Abogunde of Surulere, Oyo State, Oba Tajudeen Abimbola, emphasised the need for the project consultant to construct standard roads and ensure that such roads have direct link with one or two neighbouring communities in order to serve its purpose.
Speaking on behalf of the farmers, Alhaji Ganiyu Adekunle and Motunrayo Adeleke appealed to governments at all levels to design programmes and policies that would be beneficial to small scale farmers in the country.
Other residents, Mr. Muritala Raji and Mrs. Bintu Iyadunni, who reside in one of the beneficiary communities, Akolo Inu Village, Mogaji Abogunrin, Alaafin Community in Oyo West Local Government area, expressed delight over the project, saying access to good road would increase their profit margin as the cost of transporting farm produce from their farms to point of sales would be reduced.