Nigeria Pursues $500 Million World Bank Loan For “Rural Roads”

Nigerian Govt To Spend N59bn On Building Rural Roads
Nigerian Govt To Spend N59bn On Building Rural Roads

The World Bank is offering a $500 million loan to the Federal Government of Nigeria, which will be used for the construction of rural roads and agricultural markets.

The Federal Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development’s final draft of the Resettlement Policy Framework for the Nigeria Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project Scale-Up (RAAMP-SU) states that this fund will help address the urgent need for improved connectivity in rural Nigeria, where 92 million people do not currently have access to good roads.

The policy document noted: “Nigeria’s road network is relatively extensive, encompassing approximately 194,000 kilometres of roads. This includes 34,000 kilometres of federal roads, 30,000 kilometres of state roads, and 130,000 kilometres of registered rural roads. The road density equates to about 0.21 kilometres of roads per square kilometre. 

“Despite this relatively high road density, the rural accessibility index for Nigeria (defined as the proportion of the rural population residing within 2 kilometres of an all-weather road) stands at a mere 25.5 per cent, resulting in approximately 92 million rural inhabitants lacking connectivity. 

“Rural access is particularly restricted in areas densely populated by the economically disadvantaged. These factors underscore the imperative to expand and enhance the rural road network, as well as conserve rural road and transport assets.” 

World Bank to provide 83.33% of total project cost 

The RAAMP-SU project is planned to cost $600 million in total, of which 83.33% is expected to come from money provided by the World Bank.

The commitment amount for the parent project is 79% more than the $280 million World Bank initial pledge. Three main components of the project will be funded: $387 million for improving resilient rural access, $158 million for climate resilient asset management, and $55 million for institutional strengthening and project management.

State governments required to establish road funds, agency 

According to the policy document, states willing to participate in the project are required to have a fully functional Roads Fund and Roads Agency with appointed boards and staff, and provisions for administrative costs in the state budget. 

The document added “While the eligibility for state participation under RAAMP required the drafting and placement of Road Fund and Roads Agency bills in the State house of assemblies, the new project would require the States to have a fully functional Roads Fund and Roads Agency with appointed boards and staff, and provision for administrative costs made in the state budget. In addition, RARAs offer an opportunity to foster women’s representation in the transport sector. 

“The RAAMP-SU’s funds will be allocated on a competitive basis between states factoring in: (a) a refined socioeconomic selection matrix to increase rural access to basic services and promote food security; (b) activities readiness in terms of design; and (c) state’s demonstrated commitment in the projected infrastructure efficient maintenance, including potential co-financing from their own resources.” 

Compensation for Project-Affected Persons 

The policy framework stipulates that the implementation of resettlement and compensation plans is a prerequisite for project activities that cause resettlement. 

Compensation and other assistance are expected to be provided prior to displacement, ensuring that necessary measures for resettlement and compensation are in place before any land acquisition or restriction of access. 

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