From Mathew Jwantu, Minna
Niger State Government, in collaboration with Rural Access and Mobility Project (RAAMP) has expended over 9 billion naira on rehabilitation of 403 rural roads in the state.
The state Coordinator of the Project. Alhaji Hassan Baba made the disclosure while briefing news men in Government House, Minna, saying, the construction and rehabilitation of rural roads RAAMP- 2 has completed rehabilitation of 176 kilometres of Rural Roads.
He explained that over 215 jobs have been created under the community-based road maintenance scheme.
To this end, a total of 215 kilometre roads rehabilitated under the first phase and pilot roads are under routine maintenance by 20 road maintenance groups with members selected from the communities along the rehabilitated roads of which 30% according to him, are female.
Alhaji Hassan stressed that the project has succeeded in reducing maternal mortality by 60% as a result of the improved access to health facilities in the intervention areas.
The Coordinator who pointed out that the project has increased school enrollment by 4% in the intervention areas, added that it has equally reduced travel cost by 40% and travel time by 50% in the intervention areas.
He emphasized that RAAMP is poised to improving the living standards of the rural dwellers due to resultant increase in the socioeconomic activities and income earnings in the intervention areas.
Meanwhile, schools and business activities were last Tuesday shutdown in Chachaga Minna Niger state over the deplorable conditions of the roads.
Eye witness account has it that parents of pupils/students of Nigeria Union of Teachers (NUT) Model Science School Chanchaga, received text massages telling them there will be no school on Tuesday due to the heavy gridlock from Minna City gate, to Chanchaga town.
It would be recalled that the school was also closed for two days as a result of tanker accident which spilled contents on the road, forcing the school to observe its midterm break last week
This led to a resident, Mallam Garba Jiya, advising that RAAMP should extend it’s tentacles to Chanchaga Minna roads as it is fast becoming a death trap, in addition to thinking of alternative road, from Minna city gate to Chanchaga/Suleja road.
Jiya believe such will go a long way in reducing the pressure on Tungan Goro- Chanchaga bridge by trucks that spend hours on top of the bridge in gridlock resulting from deplorable conditions of the roads.