RAAMP gives affiliated states a deadline to legalize their activities – The Sun Nigeria

JOE EFFIONG, UYO

The authorities of the Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project, RAAMP, have declared September 2022 as the deadline for RAAMP affiliated states for the Rural Access Roads Agency, RARA and the State Road Fund, the SRF Bill be forwarded to their respective Houses of Assembly for necessary action or risk non-release of funds under the Bill.

The RAAMP National Coordinator, Mr. Aminu Bodinga Mohamed, who revealed this during the third project implementation support mission, pointed out that the requirement is part of the legal agreements for the states participating in the project. .

The support mission seeks to assess the progress made so far since the implementation of the project with a view to making the necessary corrections, adjustments or modifications to the 13 States participating in the scheme on the implementation of the project.

The provision reads as follows: “Each Participating State is required to complete, no later than 18 months after the date of the Subsidiary Agreement, the following reform by participating to the satisfaction of the Recipient and the Association: finalization of legislation establishing a National Rural Access Roads Agency (RARA) and a State Road Fund (SRF) and placing them before the State House of Assembly; and failure to comply with the above requirements will result in suspension of payments to that Participating State until such reforms have

been completed.

The September 2022 deadline therefore complies with the legal provisions, since the project entered into force in March 2021.

RAAMP is an interventionist development project, financed by the World Bank, the French Development Agency and the 13 States, including Akwa Ibom, participating in the program across the country, even though six new States have recently joined the project and are currently threading the core processes for them to be integrated accordingly.

The coordinator instructed all stakeholders to be resolute in the timely delivery of the project development objectives, PDO, stressing that having lost considerable time due to delays experienced during the preliminary levels, it was imperative that everyone be on the bridge to accelerate the process and achieve positive impacts across the country in line with the objectives designed by the project.

Muhamec said, “Rural roads and markets across the country are in serious deficit. RAAMP aims to improve their current conditions. We should all be in a hurry to achieve this, having already lost time during the implementation of this project.

“The project is almost a year and a half old now. Where are we? State disbursements are very insignificant. We need to do more. The project can only be called healthy when we spend.

He, however, called on the World Bank to increase its disbursements from its current status of $500,000 to at least $3 million to achieve more meaningful results, just as states under the project should try to do more in terms of contributing. of their respective matching funds. to the project.

The World Bank’s Task Team Leader, TTL, Mr. Olatunji Ahmed noted that the bi-annual meeting is the bank’s standard of practice, where stakeholders come together to review their activities to assess issues. strengths, shortcomings and explore the way forward for best results.

“The last time we met, the general complaint was centered on the bank’s failure to release funds. Now the ball is in your court since the funds have been disbursed to you. Part of the objectives of this exercise is to collectively develop our work plan for the next six months,” he said.

The TTL of the French Development Agency, AFD, Mr François Giroudy expressed his confidence that the participants in the exercise would benefit from the negotiation to standardize their activities and looked forward to visiting the States afterwards to see the things by itself.

For his part, the representative of the Project Coordinating Unit, Dr Kush Peter, urged states to redouble their efforts to improve the lives of their people, adding that all should strive to write their names in or through best practices in project implementation.

Similarly, Project Coordinators from the 13 RAAMP States made presentations on challenges, milestones and opportunities in their respective States.

Sara H. Byrd