The World Bank under its Rural Access and Mobility Project (RAMP) is to spend N21 billion on 500 kilometre rural roads in Abia State.
Besides rural road rehabilitation, the World Bank has also released a whopping $75 million to the state to help it tackle erosion, flooding and build drainages through the New Map programme.
Gov Okezie Ikpeazu, who disclosed this at a RAMP Stakeholders Workshop yesterday in Umuahia, said the roads would cut across rural communities in the state.
The governor, who was represented by the Commissioner for Finance, Mr Obinna Oriaku, solicited the support of the stakeholders particularly traditional rulers and Town Union Executives to ensure the success of the project.
He warned against unnecessary interruptions and demands for compensations or “marching ground” (development fees) by locals, saying that government will not tolerate any action that would stall the project.
“There should be no demand from the World Bank assisted project, like marching ground or compensation”, Ikpeazu warned.
The governor further charged the traditional rulers to prevail on youths in their respective communities not to constitute themselves into a stumbling block to the development of their areas.
Ikpeazu said that the project would help to open up rural roads in the state and correct the allegation that his administration is only concentrating on urban roads.
According to him, the RAMP project will complement the efforts of the state government towards massive rural road rehabilitation across the state.