The Minister of State for Budget and National Planning, Mr. Ikanade Agba, yesterday, said the Federal Government was working on 377 roads in 266 rural communities across the country, according to the News Agency of Nigeria ( NAN).
Agba disclosed this while inspecting the progress of work on the 7.5 km Nsukka-Lejja-Igbo-Etiti Road in Enugu State.
The minister said the Federal Government had approved N34b for projects, which were part of its Economic Sustainability Plan against the extreme impact of the Coronavirus.
Agba said the Federal Government also released another N60b to the Federal Roads Management Agency (FERMA) for the rehabilitation of failed portions of major highways across the country.
According to him, the country witnessed a shortfall in staple food supply during the pandemic, which invariably was responsible for increase in food prices.
He said it was unacceptable that farmers in the rural areas were recording 50 to 60 per cent post-harvest losses, due to the bad roads.
“The President is very concerned about the livelihood of people in rural areas, and he is concerned that 60 per cent of what you produce get spoilt.
“That was why during the pandemic, food became a problem and he now decided to encourage our farmers by embarking on these projects to link your communities to urban centres.
“Our target is to record 100 per cent post-harvest success without necessarily increasing hectarage, and to achieve this, we must improve infrastructure within the agricultural corridor,” he said.
Agba said the essence of the visit was to assess the extent of work so as to make plans for the release of more money for the projects.
The traditional ruler of Lejja Community, Igwe Anthony Ochike, described the intervention as “a big relief”.
Ochike said earlier appeals by the community for the construction of the road failed.
The traditional ruler commended the Federal Government for the award of the contract and appealed that the remaining 4km that would take the road to Nsukka be awarded too.
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