Profound excitement was yesterday felt across many communities in Ekiti State as the state Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, flagged off the construction of 1,000 kilometre-rural roads in the three senatorial districts of the state.
Fayemi, who was represented by the state Deputy Governor, Chief Bisi Egbeyemi, explained that the roads, when constructed, would stimulate the grassroots economy, provide access to markets for farm produce and prevent post-harvest losses always incurred by farmers.
He said the project is co-financed by the state government, the World Bank and the French Agency for Development (AFD) under the Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project (RAAMP).
The project took off with six pilot roads namely: Ogotun-Alagbede Road, Kajola-Ago Aduloju Road, Iyin Odo Oro-Aroto Road, Itaji-Orisunmibare Road, Oke Ako Farm Road and Imesi Kosomolate Road, with others to commence in due course.
According to Fayemi, “The vision of this administration is to construct 1,000 kilometres of rural roads across the 16 local government areas of the state with a view to increasing farm produce for local and foreign income earnings.
“You are all aware that the state government is embarking on the construction of a cargo airport to help transport our farm produce to other parts of Nigeria and other countries.
“This is in readiness for sufficient food and cash crop production that would allow inter-connectivity as well as boost the capacity of our farmers.
“I therefore urged all members of the benefiting communities to relate warmly with the contractors handling the project in order to have hitch-free work. Not only that, the cordial relationship will also spur the contractors to deliver optimally and to specification.”
The governor pointed out that work is already in top gear on the new Ado-Iyin dual carriageway, Aramoko-Ikogosi Road, Oye-Iye-Ikun Road, Agbado-Ode-Isinbode-Omuo Road and Ilupeju-Ire-Igbemo Road with the Ado Ekiti Ring Road project coming on board soon.
The state RAAMP Coordinator, Hon. Adunmo, said the commencement of the project was a testament to the commitment of the Fayemi administration to developing the agriculture sector and making life more comfortable for rural dwellers, especially farmers.
Adunmo said contractors handling the project have been instructed to engage local artisans and workmen in the construction to benefit the communities, empower residents, and give them a sense of belonging.
He recalled that Fayemi, during his first tenure, touched all communities in the state with at least two developmental projects each, including the construction of five kilometres in each of the 16 local government areas.