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377 rural roads construction to stop post harvest losses, says FG


The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Clem Agba, on Tuesday, said that the Federal Government’s construction of 377 rural roads across the country was to stop annual post harvest losses.

The minister stated this when he paid a courtesy visit to Agadagba of Olodiama, Godwin Ogunyibo, after the inspection of the ongoing 9km Igo – Ikpella rural road project in Ovia North Local Government Area of Edo.

Agba, who announced that President Muhammadu Buhari had released N34 billion for the project, said 266 communities in the six geo- political zones of the country would benefit from the project.

He said that the President’s decision to embark on the rural roads project was borne out of his concern for farmers mostly in rural areas, who due to bad roads suffer post harvest losses.

The Minister said that the President particularly instructed that these roads must be in agro corridor.

“As part of the economy sustainability plan of the President, especially as part of effort to mitigate 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 roads.

“The farmers suffers 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 percent of our mango harvested yearly is wasted.

“The only way we can encourage investors to these rural areas and also encourage farmers is to build these roads,’’ the minister said.

Agba noted that aside the N34 billion for the rural roads, N60billion had lso been released for the maintenance of 257 federal roads across the six geo political zone.

“This maintenance work is been supervised by the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA),” he stated.

The minister urged people in the communities where these road projects are sited to cooperate with the contractors in order to ensure quality work.

In his remark, the traditional head of Olodiama, Ogunyibo, commended President Buhari for the project, adding that the project would enhance the livelihood of the people.

“We are fishermen and our fish does not get to the market because there is no road, we also do not have means of preserving these fish.

“This road project has shown that the President does not believe in propaganda,” he said.

It was reported that the 377 rural roads are been constructed under the supervision of the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.