By Adebayo Olodan
In a bid to reduce unemployment, poverty and boost socio-economic development of the state, the Kwara State Government is to access $60million loan from the International Development Association Funding Facility (IDAF) for Rural Access Mobility Projects (RAMP).
The disclosure was made last night by the Commissioner for Works and Transport in the state, Alhaji Aro Yahaya, during a telephone interview with our reporter.
According to the commissioner, Kwara is among the 23 states from the country selected for the financial benefit meant for development of rural roads.
“Kwara is among the lucky 23 states in the country to benefit from IDAF fund and the association is made up of World Bank, French Development Bank, African Development Bank(AfDB) and other international funding organisations that have programmes for less developed countries in the world.
“This particular facility is to develop rural roads across the state in order to make life more meaningful for rural dwellers through productivity and easy access to urban settlement for sales of their produce,” Yahaya stated.
Speaking further, the commissioner who said the $60million facility, if finally accessed has 10 years moratorium and a repayment period of 40 years with a marginal interest rate of 0.75 per cent.
According to him, among the states to benefit the facility alongside Kwara are; Kano, Ogun, Ondo Kogi and Abia.
“The Rural Access Mobility Project which has been modified Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project will make all our rural roads accessible and promote socio-economic development in the state. Additionally, it will create easy access to solid minerals deposit in and in checking rural-urban drift in the state, which is the new thinking of the federal government as a way of diversifying the economy,” he added.
Justifying the need for the state government to access the facility, the commissioner said, the development will help in boosting socio-economic development, create employment and also ensure even development of the state.
“There is no country in the world that achieve economic development without adequate funding and financial support hence Kwara can never be an exception.
“Kaduna, Enugu, Cross Rivers, Kebbi and Zamfara are among the states to have benefitted from the facility in the past and RAMP project is a huge opportunity to diversify the our economy state and to also impact on rural dwellers in the state.
“The consultants for the projects visited various rural communities in Kwara State penultimate week and we expect at least 500km of rural roads to be constructed across the state with funds to be released in tranches as soon as we have reached an advanced stage of the procedures,” the commissioner disclosed.