The Niger State government in Nigeria has launched the rehabilitation and surface dressing of 403km rural roads in the state under the Rural Access Mobility Project (RAMP) 2 at the cost of US $16.6m.
According to the state governor Sani Bello, who flagged off the road projects in Gawu Babangida, the headquarters of Gurara Local Government area of the state said that the first phase of the projects will cover a distance of 176km, with 30 river crossings. “The second phase, a total distance of 227.5km will commence immediately after the completion of the first phase,” he confirmed.
The governor further revealed that this project is in addition to 169km of rural roads that were also rehabilitated under the Spot Improvement and Annual Mechanized Maintenance Intervention. “The road projects will be spread across the three senatorial districts of the state, and no section of the state would be left out of the rural development programme,” he affirmed.
Rehabilitation of rural roads in Nigeria
About 30 million Nigerians currently live in near isolation and lack access to social services. Nigeria has a relatively dense but largely deteriorated road network due to lack of maintenance. The network includes federal highways 34,000km, State roads 30,000km and rural roads 130,000km. Of the country’s 160,000 km of state and rural roads, less than 10-15% of rural roads are considered to be in good condition.
Underdeveloped road networks increase transport costs and limit connectivity, making it difficult for local farmers to gain access to local and regional markets, both to source key intermediate inputs, and to commercialize agricultural outputs. The resulting negative effects on agricultural productivity and household income make it difficult for poor farmers to have the incentives and the resources to modernize the production process, thereby perpetuating basic subsistence agriculture.
To address these problems, the Federal Government of Nigeria put forward the Second Rural Access and Mobility Project (RAMP2) to upgrade or rehabilitate 1,450 km of rural roads in selected federal states.