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query_builder September 12, 2018 17:11:32

By Sunday Okoli

Awka, Sept. 12, 2018 (MOI)

Anambra State Project Monitoring Committee (ASPMC) of Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project (RAAMP) has been inaugurated.

Performing the inauguration at the Works’ Ministry premises, Awka, Commissioner for Works, Mr Marcel Ifejiofor said RAAMP was a bold initiative by Anambra Government to uplift its agricultural potential.

``The state has approved N100 million as first tranche for the counterpart funding to ensure that the essence of the project is achieved.

``Anambra State wants to provide suitable road network for rural farmers to enable them to convey their farm produce to the markets to avoid losses.

He adds: ``Agriculture being the number one pillar of Gov. Willie Obiano administration, government has so much consideration for the rural people, because they form the bulk of the state production level, being predominantly farmers.

``Government believes that development of rural farmers through provision of access roads to markets, will improve the economy, as well as the standards of life of rural dwellers," Mr Ifejiofor said.

State Project Coordinator (RAAMP-3), Mr Joe Onyejekwe, said that the Federal Government initiated the Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project as a successor to the second Rural Access and Mobility Project (RAMP-2).

``The project will be supported financially by the World Bank, French Development Agency (AFD) and African Development Bank (ADP) with the lead agency being the Federal Ministry of Agriculture.

``The rest are the respective participating States Project Implementation Units (SPIU) domiciled in various ministry of works, of which Anambra Ministry of Works, Awka is included.

``Anambra State RAAMP was established in September 2016 and became operational in October 2017. It was among the 18 states selected for the project,” Onyejekwe said.

He noted that the state had been divided into six intervention areas, comprising, 16 Local Government Areas and the LGAs were visited and rural roads identified in all.

Mr Onyejekwe, however, said that the project development objective was to improve rural access and agro logistics in selected participating states, while enhancing sustainability of the rural state road network.

``The key target of the project was to connect small family farmers in participating states to local agricultural markets with all-weather access in selected rural development areas.

``Build primary and secondary markets within the rehabilitated road corridors; provide assistance to farmers to establish food processing industries with storage facilities and handover maintenance of rural roads to communities with financial support from RAAMP.

``It is also the responsibility of the State Project Monitoring Committee, the Permanent Secretary, State Ministry of Works – Chairman, representatives of some ministries and LGAs to ensure RAAMP projects delivery as designed.

``This is to ensure value for money and that the expenditures are within the approved work plan by the RAAMP national headquarters, as well as provide strategic and policy guidance to the state project team,’’ Onyejekwe stressed.

Chairman State Project Monitoring Committee, and Permanent Secretary Ministry of Works, Mr Emeka Ohuoha thanked the Commissioner and Gov. Willie Obiano for attracting the project.

He noted that the state was favoured to be part of RAAMP3 having paid its counterpart funding.

Ohuoha, then, pledged that the committee would adhere strictly to their responsibility.

``The committee will ensure that value for money is achieved and in a transparent manner by working with diligence, commitment, and with all respect to the law governing RAAMP,” Mr Ohuoha said. (MOI)