Nigeria Seeks $500m World Bank Loan for Rural Roads and Agricultural Marketing

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The Federal Government of Nigeria is requesting a $500 million loan from the World Bank to improve rural road infrastructure and agricultural marketing across the country. This initiative aims to address the critical need for better connectivity in rural areas, where 92 million people currently lack access to quality roads.

This funding request is outlined in the final draft of the Resettlement Policy Framework for the Nigeria Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project Scale-Up (RAAMP-SU), implemented by the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development. The RAAMP-SU project is designed to enhance rural access and climate resilience, thereby boosting agricultural potential and marketing opportunities for rural communities, ultimately improving livelihoods.

The project has several key objectives:
– Improving rural access and climate resilience in targeted areas.
– Strengthening institutional capacity for managing rural road networks.
– Building financial and institutional foundations for the sustainable management of rural and state road networks.

RAAMP-SU is an extension of the earlier Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project, which was also supported by the World Bank and the French Development Agency. It is overseen by the Federal Project Management Unit within the Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.

The policy document notes that Nigeria’s road network covers approximately 194,000 kilometers, including 34,000 kilometers of federal roads, 30,000 kilometers of state roads, and 130,000 kilometers of registered rural roads. Despite this extensive network, the rural accessibility index (the proportion of the rural population residing within 2 kilometers of an all-weather road) is only 25.5 percent, leaving about 92 million rural inhabitants without proper connectivity.

The RAAMP-SU project aims to expand and enhance the rural road network and preserve rural road and transport assets, particularly in areas densely populated by economically disadvantaged individuals.

### Project Funding and Components

The total cost of the RAAMP-SU project is estimated at $600 million, with the World Bank expected to provide 83.33 percent of the funding. This commitment is 79 percent higher than the initial World Bank commitment of $280 million for the parent project.

The project will finance three key components:
1. Improvement of Resilient Rural Access ($387 million)
2. Climate Resilient Asset Management ($158 million)
3. Institutional Strengthening and Project Management ($55 million)

States wishing to participate in the project must have a fully functional Roads Fund and Roads Agency with appointed boards and staff, and provisions for administrative costs included in the state budget. The new project requirements build on previous conditions by mandating these operational structures for state participation.

The policy framework also highlights the importance of fostering women’s representation in the transport sector through the project. Additionally, funds will be allocated competitively among states, considering a refined socioeconomic selection matrix to increase rural access to basic services and promote food security.

### Resettlement and Compensation Plans

The implementation of resettlement and compensation plans is a prerequisite for project activities that cause resettlement. Compensation and other assistance will be provided before displacement, ensuring necessary measures are in place before any land acquisition or restriction of access.

This project represents a significant step towards improving rural infrastructure and agricultural marketing in Nigeria, contributing to better connectivity and livelihoods for millions of rural inhabitants.

Charles Akpeji
Charles Akpejihttps://naija247news.com
Charles Akpeji has over 20 years experience in journalism and he is Naija247news Taraba Correspondent. He lives and works from Jalingo, the state capital.

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