By John Kayode
Ondo State Government has said plans are in top gear to fix rural rural roads to ease transporting Agricultural products and prevent incessant spoilage of farm produce.
Special Adviser to Ondo State Governor on Rural and Community Development,Mr Kolawole Babatunde said this in his address at a workshop on road sector reform and commencement of the executive legislation bills for RARA and SRF on Tuesday in Akure.
According to Babatunde the state is participating in the World Bank’s Rural Access and Marketing Project (RAAMP) programme is to ensure that rural roads are in good condition
Also he said the state was looking at forming an agency; Rural Access Roads Agency (RARA) and and State Road Fund (SRF) that will address issues of rural road financing sustainably.
Babatunde said that the revamping of rural roads would go a long way reduce issues of food scarcity and grant access for the rural parts of the state for marketing and farming activities.
The special adviser said the workshop became imperative so as to inform stakeholders present of the need to support the vision of the government to make life better for rural dwellers.
“You will agree with me that most of our rural roads are in decrepit state, hence a watertight arrangement must be employed to not only save the roads but to also as a matter of urgency prevent frequent spoilage of farm produce.
“This action will go a long way in mitigating the food scarcity challenge and grant access to the rural parts of the state for other ancillary marketing/farming activities.
“Our government’s decision to be one of the participating states in RAAMP was borne out of the concerned attitude of our governor and the desire to change the negative narrative associated with getting access to the rural part of the state, coupled with the maintenance of the roads.
“This Government has therefore set machinery in motion, to positively use the emergence of both bills to address the enormous challenges and maintenance cum sustainability after the construction of the rural roads.
Project Coordinator Ondo State Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project,Mr Olusola Dada, appreciated Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu for his commitment to the project.
Dada said the project would birth a new developmental stride in the transportation sector of Ondo State which would be of immense benefit to all and sundry.
“Let me make a clarion call to all here present to kindly support the road sector reform using Rural Access Roads Agency (RARA) and State Road Funds (SRF) bill when the process of both initiation and passage kicks off today.
” This is a laudable Initiative of the donor funded bodies supported and accepted by government for the betterment of the rural dwellers in the state.
” I must emphasise that the access that will be provided RAAMP would equally help reduce the waste experienced in farm produce. This is because the roads to the identified agricultural,” he said.
Mr Maysam Abedin said the Bank was looking for a way to ensure financing sustainability for maintenance of roads after the expiration of the project.
Abedin said that the workshop is organised to discuss a creative way to guarantee sustainability by means of legislation.