Abia State government has received $60 million (N21 billion) for the execution of the World Bank-assisted Rural Access and Mobility Project (RAMP) in the state,

Governor Okezie Ikpeazu disclosed this in Umuahia, the Abia State capital, during a one-day workshop for stakeholders organised by the state RAMP on The Prioritisation of Intervention Areas and Rural Road Links in Abia.

The governor, represented by the state Commissioner for Finance, Mr Obinna Oriaku, said that the World Bank approved the facility for the construction of rural link roads across the state as an intervention for the development of Abia.

He urged the benefitting communities to cooperate with the contractors to ensure quick completion of the project.

He further admonished the communities not to demand for “matching ground” (money demanded by community youths before allowing project development in their area) from the contractors.

It was further announced that the state got $56 million from the Nigeria Erosion and Watershed Management Project (NEWMAP).

He said some erosion sites had started receiving attention from the NEWMAP facility.

In his speech, the national coordinator of RAMP, Mr Ubandoma Ularamu, said that 500 km length of roads, linking many rural communities, would be built across the state out of the targeted 900 km roads.

Ularamu said the roads were selected because of their economic importance, as they lead to markets, hospitals and cottage industries.

He said a structure that incorporated the benefitting communities had been designed for the regular maintenance of the roads after their construction.

In his welcome address, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Economic Development and Poverty Reduction, Very-Rev. Ernest Onyeukwu, said the workshop was organised “to sensitise and mobilise all the stakeholders for a fruitful project execution and maintenance.”

Onyeukwu, who commended RAMP and the state government for the initiative, appealed to the communities to make their contributions toward the realisation of the project.

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