The World Bank has rated Osun State as the best among its peers in the implementation, management and maintenance of Rural Access and Mobility Projects (RAMP) being financed by the institution across the states of the Nigerian federation.
The global financial institution gave this commendation through its team led by Mr. Olatunji Hammed during a second phase project presentation to the state Governor, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola.
Addressing the gathering, Hammed disclosed that Osun State has put up an exemplary performance in the quality of its unprecedented developmental projects that centred on the lives of the generality of its populace most especially the rural dwellers.
He said Osun has been able to maintain its status as the first state that has successfully maintained it roads to enhance productivity and as well as improve the economy of the state through accessible and motor able roads, linking community to community, village to village, town to town as well as city to city.
He said Osun State has always been number one as it remains the pacesetter for its counterparts in terms of rural based road maintenance which according to him, has prompted other states to come to Osun in order to learn rural access roads maintenance skills.
Hammed revealed that in spite of the fact that the state is blessed with multitude of villages, towns and cities, the state has the best roads connectivity in the country.[pro_ad_display_adzone id=”70560″]
According to him, “Rural Access and Mobility Project has helped significantly in harnessing and exploring the agricultural potentiality of the rural dwellers in the area of transportation of farm produce to urban cities as roads rural/urban roads are being aggressively linked and exposed for easier accessibility.
“There is no doubt about the fact that many states in the country are jealous of Osun in terms of its rapid developmental projects which aims at improving the general well being of its populace as the state ever remained the best in implementation, management and maintenance of community based roads across the length and breadth of the state.
“This wouldn’t have been impossible if not for the support of Governor Aregbesola towards the Rural Access and Mobility Project which has impacted meaningfully in the teeming lives of the citizenry.
Hammed said the institution’s findings on the phase1 of the Rural Access and Mobility Project (RAMP1) and general roads construction in the state have shown the accelerated improvement in the general lives of the citizenry most importantly that of the rural dwellers as it has contributed meaningfully and productively in the agricultural activities.
Having assessed the state in terms of socio-infrastructural, political and economic developments, Engineer Hammed disclosed that the roads network in the state have the best linkage which according to him could always stand the test of time.
He extolled Governor Aregbesola’s commitment and dedication towards the well being of his people, saying he has proven himself and distinguished his administration’s uniqueness in his quest for quality and standard construction materials which has resorted to long-last and durable roads being constructed in the state since his administration.
He described Aregbesola as an ardent lover of good governance and political stability, adding that his roles in bringing the dividends of democracy to the door steps of his people could not be forgotten.
He described the RAMP programme as the only alternative mechanism and instrument which government at all levels need for the successful realization of economic diversification as the country is planning to shift face and attention from being over-reliant on crude oil production to full agricultural production.
He, however, advocated for unwavering support and collaboration with the current government in the country and Osun State in particular in taking the state and nation to the lofty high of prosperous future.
He stressed that the state compassion on the well being and development of rural dwellers had yielded positive results as new life of economic transformation and development has been brought to those communities.
In his address, Governor Rauf Aregbesola, said Osun State was the first state to involve the communities in the adoption and management of the roads across the state since the commencement of his administration.
The governor said the project (RAMP) is popular to the people in the state and that consciousness is linked to the need of providing the best his government could in terms of quality facilities and materials for roads construction.
He said his government having identified the needs of its rural dwellers, embarked on the massive roads network across the nooks and crannies of the state in order to break the wide gap between the people at the remote areas and urban residents.
Governor Aregbesola stated that Osun, having been rated best in the implementation of the RAMP project, has no reason to strive further in the actualisation of its comprehensive development agenda.
He pledged that the state under his watch will do everything possible to look for money to make up her counterpart fund for the phase2 of the Rural Access and Mobility Project (RAMP 11) that is set to commence.
Governor Aregbesola stressed that Osun was keen in the project simply because the state has been wrongly tagged “Civil Service State” which in reality, according to him, is a peasant agrarian state.
Why justifying his position, the governor said as a matter of fact the entire resources of the state even at the best of time was N4.6bn which was a period when the state received its highest allocation, saying the last chunk of this statutory allocation amounts to the sum of N3.6bn which was dedicated to payment of civil servants’ salary arrears, gratuity, pensions and other emoluments.
He explained further that the state with the population of 4.5 million that received its highest allocation of N4.6bn means that as at then, it had to service the population of 4.5 million, which by calculation means that each citizen would receive N1000. He said what a citizen gets cannot even cater for a day old baby for one month.
He noted that a sincere assessment of the state allocation resources and resources from Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) show that the state lives on agricultural values.
Governor Aregbesola said the state exists on the sweats and labour of those unsung men and women in rural areas who are struggling and labouring every day to improve the agricultural commodities that are painfully brought to the market.
He lamented over the dwindling allocation to the state, saying since June, 2013, the financial activities of the state had been hugely damaged due to what he described as unjust reduction.
Governor Aregbesola buttressed his point by disclosing that the state got for its September allocation, a paltry sum of N1.8bn. He said such revenue cannot be the basis for the economy of Osun State.