It didn’t just happen happenstance, neither did it evoke from the blues. The joining of the Ivy League of states that had been benefiting from the credit of the World Bank by the Gateway State was a fallout of the deliberate effort of the Governor of the state, Senator Ibikunle Amosun to reposition the elitist yet agrarian state for industrialisation.
There had been unarguably five starter states that had enjoyed the facilities from international development associations, under the series if the World Bank,French Development Agency and the African Development Bank which have improved access to rural of the rural hinterlands in their respective state, even as literature establishs that two states were actually the original stating partners which were used as pilots for the scheme.
But the focus which deservedly earned Ogun State a place in the current arrangement where thirteen states are participating was made possible by the urban renewal project of the governor, which, in itself, is one of the five cardinal pillars upon which the fulcrum of the administration was formed.
One did not just come to this reality until the Task Team Leader kg the World Bank on Transportation, Engr. Tunji Ahmed, thumped up the performance of the current administration on urban renewal, thereby suggesting that that earned Ogun a place on the project.
The multi-million dollar project, which is expected to lead to the construction and or rehabilitate of close to 500km of roads in the otherwise impassable locations in the hinterland is expected to be a joint venture initiative, and so it is.
Engr. Ahmed, in one of the mission visits to the state by his team commended the prompt response of the government in releasing the my much-needed counterpart fund, which is a critical criterion in the many criteria as an indicator of government’s readiness for the project.
Therefore, in the autumn season ahead, eighteen local government areas, excluding the metropolitan Abeokuta South and Ijebu-Ode, will witness the massive deployment of men and machinery not only for rural roads rehabilitation and construction, but Agro-logistics hubs.
The inclusion of the Agro-logistic hubs is the latest addition to the federal government of Nigeria guaranteed rural access and agricultural marketing project (RAAMP), an improvement on the earlier rural access and mobility project (RAMP) which is what the pioneer states had.
It goes without saying that virtually all the thirty-seven local council development areas (LCDA) with the exception of the ones within the jurisdiction of earlier mentioned largely urban local governments will benefit.
With six value-chain and nine intervention areas across the state, it is quite obvious that farmers, irrespective of their age, gender and demographic distribution will never remain the same again.
It is expected, and rightly so, that the combination of increased access to be engender by the roads and the addition of value at every point between harvest and consumption of the produce will make millionaires out of the farmers.
Without mincing words, young school leavers at every strata of the educational graph, who could find the passion to join the fray would become instant hits after a gradual process of engagement,
Stakeholders amongst which are the traditional inheritors of the throne of their forebears, council chairmen, the clergy, community based groups, women and youths gangs, the civil society organisations, farm owners and indeed, all are expected to be expectant as the day roll by.
Efforts are in very Top gear to roll up our sleeves for the task ahead. It is going to be a win-win situation for all and sundry.