Ogun govt seeks traditional rulers support on construction of rural roads, others

The Ogun State Government through the Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project (RAAMP), has sought for support and collaboration with traditional rulers and other stakeholders for the success of the construction of rural roads and upgrade of markets in agrarian local government areas of the state.

The Social Safeguard Officer for RAAMP, Solomon Akindele, solicited for the support when members of the State Project implementation unit (SPIU) of RAAMP, paid a sensitization visit to the palace of the Olu of Obafemi, Oba Taofeek Owolabi, in Obafemi/Owode local government area of the State, recently.

Akindele said the support became necessary in order to ensure the safety of contractors and equipment that would be mobilised to site.

While underscoring the importance of “the community buy-in” for the project, Akindele, said it was important for the “participants communities” to “own the project”, just as he added that post construction maintenance would be done by the ” participants communities” where the roads run through.

The RAAMP project is a counterpart funded project involving the State government, the World Bank, French Development Agency and the European Investment Bank.

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Speaking on the visit, the World Bank Consultant on Political Economy, Dr. Adam Higazi, said opportunity would be provided for experts within the communities to access the design for the roads and make progress report to the state project implementation unit (SPIU).

“Community leaders owe the community duty to ensure that quality work is done and in real time. If the work is badly done, it will badly affect the participating communities and if it is rightly done, the same community would enjoy it,” Higazi said

In his response, Oba Owolabi recalled that the stretch of road off Abeokuta-Sagamu interchange at Asipa Moloko to Ajebo /OGTV was constructed by the Unity Party of Nigeria (UPN) government of Chief Bisi Onabanjo.

He rued the lack of maintenance culture in the country, just as he pleaded with the current government to “have mercy on his land for the sake of the people,” adding that the only maintenance done afterward was during Osoba’s government.

The M6onarch, who constantly reminded his audience that his domain was the maternal home of the Sage, Chief Obafemi Awolowo, also begged the government to consider the alternate source of power like solar to his domain.

“My people and I cannot wait for this rural roads construction to start, the bad state of the road is robbing my people of economic prosperity, farm produce get spoilt at will, Medicare cannot be accessed and we are suffering.

“The predominant population of farmers is women and youths. In fact, 80 percent of farmers are women. Empowering them means empowering the nation since it has been established that they are better manages of resources,” the monarch added.