From Tony Osauzo, Benin
Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba, yesterday, said President Muhammadu Buhari has released the sum of N34 billion for the construction 377 rural roads in 266 rural communities in the six geo – political zones of the country.
The minister who disclosed this when he visited the palace of Agadagba of Olodiama, Godwin Ogunyibo, during the inspection of the ongoing 9km Igo – Ikpella rural road project in Ovia North Local Government Area of Edo State, explained that the aim of the road projects was to stop post-harvest wastage of agricultural produce.
He said the President’s decision to embark on the rural roads project was because of his concern for post harvest losses suffer by farmers who are mostly domiciled in rural areas, adding that the President particularly instructed that the roads must be in agro-corridors.
“As part of the economy sustainability plan of the President, especially as part of effort to mitigate against the post COVID-19 pandemic, his attention is particularly on agriculture. The President who wants us to eat what we produce, says we must produce what we eat. He is particularly concerned that food produce in the rural areas find it difficult to get to the cities because of poor road. The farmers suffer a lot of post harvest losses in the absence of storage facilities.
“You go to the river to catch fish, before you get to the market the fish turns bad, over 50 per cent of mangoes harvested yearly is wasted. The only way we can encourage investors to these rural areas and also encourage farmers is to build these roads,” he said.
In his comment, the traditional head of Olodiama, Godwin Ogunyibo, commended President Buhari for the project and said that the project would enhance the livelihood of the people.