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FG Seeks $500m World Bank Loan to Enhance Rural Roads, Boost Economic Growth

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President Bola Ahmed Tinubu Signs

Joel Osaigbovo Aluge, Reporting 

 

The Federal Government of Nigeria is considering securing a $500 million loan from the World Bank to improve rural road infrastructure. This funding aims to enhance connectivity in rural areas, facilitating access to markets, schools, and healthcare services. Improved rural roads are expected to boost agricultural productivity, reduce transportation costs, and promote economic development in these communities. The initiative aligns with broader efforts to address infrastructure deficits and stimulate inclusive growth across the country.

The international lender stated that the $500 million fund is intended to address the critical need for improved connectivity in rural Nigeria, where 92 million people currently lack access to good roads. This investment aims to bridge the infrastructure gap, enhancing mobility and economic opportunities for rural populations. Improved road networks are anticipated to facilitate better access to essential services, such as markets, education, and healthcare, thereby fostering socio-economic development in these underserved areas.

The request for the $500 million loan from the World Bank was detailed in the final draft of the Resettlement Policy Framework for the Nigeria Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project Scale-Up. This project is being implemented by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. The framework outlines plans to improve rural road infrastructure to enhance agricultural marketing and access, addressing the significant need for better connectivity for the 92 million people in rural Nigeria who currently lack access to quality roads.

The RAAMP-SU (Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project Scale-Up) aims to improve rural access and climate resilience, thereby enhancing agricultural potential and marketing prospects for agrarian communities. This project is expected to significantly contribute to better livelihoods for the rural populace by facilitating easier and more reliable transportation of goods and services. Improved road infrastructure will help farmers reach markets more efficiently, reduce post-harvest losses, and increase their income, leading to overall socio-economic development in rural areas.

The project’s objectives include: Enhancing the connectivity and robustness of rural communities to withstand climate impacts, Building the capability of institutions responsible for managing the rural road network. Ensuring sustainable management of both rural and state road networks through robust financial and institutional structures.

These goals aim to not only improve immediate infrastructure but also ensure long-term, sustainable road network management and resilience, benefiting rural communities and their economic activities.

The RAAMP-SU initiative extends the earlier Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project, which was supported by the World Bank and the French Development Agency. The project is led by the Federal Department of Rural Development within the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development, with oversight provided by the Federal Project Management Unit. This continuation aims to build on the successes of the initial project, further enhancing rural infrastructure, agricultural marketing, and overall economic development in rural Nigeria.

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