Oyo State Government has expressed its readiness to approve the executive Bill for the establishment of Rural Access Roads Agency ( RARA), for the RAAMP implementation, maintenance and sustainability in the State.
The State Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, Hon. Adeniyi Adebisi, disclosed this while speaking at a- day Stakeholders Workshop on Road Sector Reform, organized by the Oyo State Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project RAAMP, in conjunction with Federal Project Implementation Unit FPMU and World Bank, held at Koltotel Plaza and Suites, in Ibadan.
Adebisi explained that the Governor Makinde led administration in the present administration in the state, prioritized the rural development programme in the state, adding that those programmes would enhance the welfare of the people at grassroots level.
The Commissioner maintained that the major concern of the present administration in the State, is to create a solid platform that will be an all inclusive system of government that will transform rural dwellers.
He hinted that the government paid the counterparts fund in order to provide good roads that will link State’s roads for easy movement of their farm produce through the implementation of the RAAMP project.
Commissioner noted that since the Sector Reform policy of Rural Access Roads Agency (RARA) was to ensure sustainability of RAAMP roads after the expiring life span of the project, the Oyo State government would do everything within its capacity to ensure RARA is passed into law in the state.
He said; “It is pertinent to state that the present administration in the State under the leadership of Engr. Seyi Makinde had realized long ago that the potential of the project to turn round the condition of the rural poor, small holder farmers, transporters, buyers, marketers, processors and entire rural populace. Hence her productiveness and responsiveness to meeting all criteria that culminated in the state’s qualification for participation in the RAAMP project.”
He added that under RAAMP, many activities have been done to ensure involvement of the State till date, stressing that many activities have been carried out such as; rural roads inventory compilation, prioritization of rural roads, agro-logistics studies and value chains validation and many more.
He explained further, that the huge amount of money expended on the aforementioned activities would be much more justified if the project outcome and impacts are maintained and sustained in the state.
In his remarks, The National Coordinator, RAAMP, Engr. Aminu Bodinga, said that the Sector reform was designed to have a robust institution backed by law after the exit of the development partners of RAAMP in Oyo State, adding that this will give Oyo state government capacity to ensure sustainability and maintenance of the RAAMP roads.
The National Coordinator, who spoke through, the National Infrastructure Engineer, Engr. Bukar Gana, hinted that RAAMP was designed to provide various interventions to about 2000km rural roads in Oyo State, stressing that the project would stay for 7 years for the intervention partners to exit.
According to him “we have identified about 10,000 km roads network in Oyo state with about 4,000km rural roads and the intervention is for about 2000kms, we however want this project to continue even after the exit of the development partners”. This can only be achieved if the people of Oyo State reform the road sector by having institutions that will enhance the sustainability of the RAAMP roads through maintenance.
He therefore commended the Oyo State Government for supporting the sustainability of the RAAMP project in the state.
Earlier,in his welcome address, the Oyo State RAAMP Coordinator, Dr. Yode Ayanlowo said the project has received more support from the present administration in the state than before which has allowed the state to be a pacesetter among 13 participating RAAMP states.
He noted that the sector reform would complement efforts of the State Project Implementation Unit(SPIU) in a way as regards forming an agency that will play an oversight function on project sustainability in the area of socioeconomic and infrastructure transformation currently ongoing across the state.
He urged the Stakeholders to be more committed and play their quota in the development of the grassroot and the state at large, Dr. Ayanlowo assured that with the commencement of RAAMP in the state, which focus on economic transformation of rural areas, people at the grassroots would feel the impact of government in their areas more than before.
While making his presentation, the World bank Consultant on Roads Sector Reform, Mr. Maysam Abedin said the engagement of stakeholders was to get their consensus opinion on how the sector would be properly managed and at the end.
He added that their general agreement would be collated as a guideline for the success of the institution, stressing that aside from continuity of the project, it will also provide revenue for the state government through levy collected from the road users for the maintenance of the RAAMP roads.
He explained that for the proper maintenance of the roads, there would be a mixture of private sector and government contributing their quota for the maintenance of the roads.
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