NEED FOR RURAL ACCESS
I have always said that the bulk of our resources as a people – human and material, lie in the rural areas. Their welfare is thus paramount in the quest to grow the GDP of our State. Providing access to them is key, as it opens them up to several possibilities – improved access to markets for their agricultural produce, to quality healthcare, to better education, to technology, cultural integration and to development generally.
Provision of access to the rural areas can also stem the urban-rural migration, which has been a hallmark of our recent demographic history.
When we were campaigning, we promised you that we will address the needs of the people swiftly. That we will hit the ground running.
RURAL ACCESS & MOBILITY PROGRAM (RAMP):
It is for this reason that as soon as we assumed office, the RAMP project attracted our attention, and so came under review. Our task teams and committees analyzed the program and its processes, and being satisfied with its objectives, immediately ratified it, then provided the necessary approvals and directives therein including updating payments of counterpart funds.
RAMP 2 covers a total of 380.71Kms spread across the various Local Government in the State. These roads are delineated into many Projects, and costing a total of N13,585, 748,729.10 Billion.
Today, we flag-off;
I. Umuduru- Egbaguru road at Afor Umuduru, Onuimo L.G.A as a point of contact for all the various projects in Okigwe Zone.
II. Amurie –Ezi Isu Road at Orie, Amurie, Isu L.G.A as a point of contact for all the projects in Orlu Zone.
III. Ubomiri-Obazu – Orlu Road at Afor Ubomiri, Mbaitolu L.G.A as a point of contact for the projects in Owerri Zone.
In the knowledge of the fact that the State resources were being plundered , I realized ahead of time the need to show initiative in sourcing funds for the “Rebuilding” of the State. I identified the development partners as veritable institutions to align with as we strive to improve the lot of a people in desperate need of upliftment.
It was for this reason that, immediately after my election and in fact before my inauguration, I engaged in constructive consultations with the World Bank, AFD, etc. Today’s event is a manifestation of some of those discussions.
As a State, and indeed as a person, we are particularly grateful to the two (2) institutions that have made today possible – The World Bank and the AFD (the French Development Bank). As a policy of State, we will continue, as a matter of fact to intensify our engagements with the development partners and multi-lateral institutions, in order to leverage on their pedigree. Suffice this to say that we have a team dedicated to initiating, monitoring and coordinating the beneficial harnessing of their activities and programs.
CHARGE TO CONTRACTORS AND SUPERVISORS
While commending all those that have made today possible, I charge all those responsible for its implementation to do so diligently. The contractors must work according to specification and timelines – no excuses.
To the project coordinators, this is where the work starts. Your efforts will be complimented by the Ministry of Works, and our Projects and Evaluation Unit. I will not hesitate to sanction any erring contractor or even official that violates the expectation.
In order to ensure that beyond the construction of these projects, their continuous use is guaranteed, we will revive the State Road Maintenance Agency. This will ensure that our roads remain in satisfactory conditions even years after construction.
URGE THE COMMUNITIES
I urge the Communities to provide the conducive environment for the successful implementation of these projects, cooperate with contractors, remove social obstacles as you will ultimately be the ones to reap on completion.
Let me use this platform to say that in the next few days, massive construction will commerce on Imo urban and major link roads. You will agree that we met a road network in a deplorable state of disrepair. We have painstakingly gone through the path of due process – from the design to the procurement. We have involved the Ministry of Works, as never before, in the process. We want to deliver durable roads that will stand the test of time.
Be assured, development will get to ALL parts of Imo State, no discrimination or exclusions.
Imo wu nke’ anyi nile.