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ADB to finance 50m dollars road project in Anambra

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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.

  The Project Coordinator of Anambra Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project (RAAMP), Joe Onyejekwe, 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 FG, then, opened up discussions with two major funding agencies — the World Bank and the African Development based in Abidjan.

Onyejekwe, a Senior Special Assistant (SSA) to the Governor on Works, noted that it was the bid to overcome this anomaly that the FG 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 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 people from the concerned communities.

“They have all mutually agreed to work together toward successful realisation of the projects.”

Onyejekwe, said that 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 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 Anambra State Government had demonstrated commitment by striving to meet all the local requirements to access the funding for the project.

“Since conditions require that all participating states will provide 8 per cent of the counterpart funding, the state has since committed to this.

“Indeed, the funding that has so far been utilised by Anambra to carry out its impact assessment studies and other relevant exercises considered important to assessing the project have come from the state Government.”

Onyejekwe said that Anambra State Government had so far spent N80 million, all still within the 8 per cent of Anambra State share of the counterpart funding.

“We expect another tranche of payment from Government to undertake another critical aspect of the job; this is the design and then full implementation of the project, when the funding must been assessed for full execution of the various jobs.

“I am confident that the project will soon get off to a start with all the enormous engineering works in full steam.”

The job execution would guarantee jobs at all levels – the Bank and communities will be happy at the jobs. “Its going to be a win on win situation for all”.

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