By; PATRICK TITUS, Uyo
Akwa Ibom State Government has said that it is committed to the provision of rural-urban access roads in a renewed move to ease the movement of agricultural produce from rural to urban centres.
State Commissioner for Agriculture, Dr. Offiong Offor made this known at Ikot Ndua Iman, Onna Local Council on Thursday, during the commencement of rural road grading and maintenance by the state government.
Offiong who applauded Governor Udom Emmanuel for his strides in the agric sector also commended other partners in the AK-CARES project for collaborating to empower farmers who were affected by COVID-19.
“Today we are gathered here to flag-off this road grading project cutting across Ikot Ndua Iman and Ikot Annang communities. We know the essence of good roads, as bad roads will hinder free flow of agricultural produce from the rural to urban areas; thus increasing prices of goods. For this reason, Governor Emmanuel thought it wise to open up the roads”.
“AK-CARES by my understanding means that, Akwa Ibom State government cares for the entire populace. Governor Emmanuel says that food should be available in the State, in sufficient quantities and for this reason, he has put the machinery in place by providing inputs to farmers, maintaining roads, providing access to finance and capacity development workshops.” She said.
Flagging-off the 2.9kms road project, Commissioner for Economic Development & Chairman State Steering Committee, AK-Cares, Mr. Emem Bob explained that the first phase of the feeder roads project which is under Disbursement Linked Indicator 2.2 would take care of roads in ONNA, Itu, Ikot Ekpene, Ibesikpo Asutan, Essien Udim. Okobo and Ini Local Councils.
The second phase Bob stated would cover other local government areas not captured in the previous phase and assured that the first phase would be rounded off by the end of January next year.
The Commissioner who assured that DEFFRI Road would be captured in the second phase of the project while addressing other pleas made by the host communities called on the community members to cooperate with the Social Community Workers who would visit the area to register names in the State Social Register, as the beneficiaries of some of the Disbursement Linked Indicators were selected from the register.
State Project Coordinator, FADAMMA, Mr. Richard Sam had earlier said the event was in agreement with the vision of Governor Emmanuel in developing the rural communities.
Sam disclosed that AK-CARES result area 3 comprised of Four Disbursement Linked Indicators including DLI 2.1 made up of Inputs to farmer, DLI 2.2- Feeder Roads, DLI 2.3 – Assets and DLI 2.4- Wet markets while current emphasis has been on DLI 2.2.