87% of Nigeria’s rural roads deplorable, says W’Bank


World-BankWorld Bank’s Country Director, Shubham Chaudhuri, stated this in Abuja at the presidential inauguration of the Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project in Nigeria.

He further stated that even with current scale-up being done by the government and its partners, Nigeria was still far away from what it needed to achieve functional rural roads.

“Even with the current scale-up, we are not going to near what Nigeria needs to achieve functional rural roads,” Chaudhuri stated.

He added, “We have about 200,000km of rural roads all over Nigeria, of which 87 per cent are in bad condition. That means only about 40,000km are usable. So, if you think about tackling that problem at scale, it brings it to the issue of fiscal affordability.”

Chaudhuri further said  that there should be sustainable institutional structures to ensure that roads were maintained, urging the government to pay attention to road maintenance across the country.

“We have said that before we disburse the funds for RAAMP, we will ask states to put institutional structures to have maintenance agencies and to clarify how this will be sustained,” the bank’s director in Nigeria, stated.

Chaudhuri also used the opportunity to speak on why subsidy on Premium Motor Spirit, popularly called petrol, was becoming too burdensome on the government.

He said, “One of the biggest choices Nigeria needs to make is whether Nigeria can continue to put N5tn to its PMS subsidies every year, N6tn probably next year.

“Think about what could be done with N6tn, both at the federal, state and local government levels.”

The Country Director, French Development Agency, Xavier Muron, stated that the RAAM project of £200m would address access to roads and electrification issues, as well as help post-harvest management through refrigeration and processing.

He said the project would mitigate post-harvest losses, which had been an issue in rural communities, making Nigeria import more food products to support food security.

“That’s why we have to see the implementation of the RAAMP project, to ensure that we have a means to address post harvest losses and ensure food security,” he stated.

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