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Oyo govt pays counterpart fund for World Bank project on rural access roads

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Oyo State governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, revealed on Wednesday that his government promptly paid the counterpart fund for Development Partners-backed Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project (RAAMP) to ensure accelerated development of the rural communities in the state.

The governor, who was speaking at the inauguration of the Project Monitoring and Technical Steering Committee, at the Government House, Agodi, Ibadan, said that the sum of N350 Million was paid two months into his tenure in office to facilitate the project.

The project, which was instituted in April 2016, had remained moribund as a result of the failure of the state to pay the 12 per cent counterpart fund required by the Development Partners including the World Bank, the French Development Bank and the African Development Bank (AfDB), among others.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted Makinde as saying that the RAAMP would ensure quality and durable roads that would open up the rural areas for business.

He said: “When we came in, we met the RAAM Project almost moribund because Oyo State couldn’t pay its own counterpart fund. Within two and half months of our administration, we provided the counterpart fund and we were able to get the project back on track.”

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The project, which was meant to construct, rehabilitate and maintain over 1000 kilometres of rural roads across 33 Local Government Areas and 35 Local Council Development Areas of the state is aimed at linking the state’s Agro-logistic hubs for economic and social development.

Governor Makinde said that the RAAMP is aimed at improving the standard of living of rural dwellers, ease access to transportation and enhance rural participation in economic development.

The governor further stated: “I want to congratulate the members of the committee… As a member of this committee, one thing we want to ensure is that quality is maintained.

“We don’t want situation like in the past whereby roads and critical infrastructure are constructed and before that administration will even leave office, the infrastructure would have got to a total state of decay and you will know that within a very short time, you won’t see those infrastructure again.

“A case in point is that we went to Eruwa this time last week, the road from Ologuneru to Eruwa, they are still working on it, it is yet to get to the final point at Eruwa, but we saw many sections of the road that have failed already. That is not what we want, quality has to be maintained.”

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The governor also stated that besides the RAAMP, there are other opportunities the state is looking forward to in order to turn around the fortunes of the rural communities.

He said: “Apart from the RAAMP, we still have other opportunities, AfDB are still talking to us, and if, indeed, we are able to put pen to paper, Oyo State would become one of their Agro-processing centres and they will support infrastructure provision towards our rural areas.

“This is mango season; I have been to the innermost part of Oyo State. It is obvious that a lot of farm produce is being wasted. Until the farm produce gets to the people that need it, it is then the farmers can get quality for their produce.”

He added that the RAAMP is important to his administration because it was capable of enhancing its vision of expanding the economy, which he said is a major aspect of his administration’s objectives.

Earlier, the RAAMP coordinator, Dr. Moses Ayanlowo, said the project was aimed at internationalising the capacity and culture for coordination, construction, rehabilitation and maintenance of rural road networks that will ensure an all year-round accessibility to farms and agro-logistic centres and markets.

He, however, appreciated the Makinde-led administration for paying the counterpart funds, which he said had debarred the State from benefiting from the RAAMP since 2016, noting that the project will bring profitable agricultural enterprise to the State.

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In his address, the Oyo State Commissioner for Agriculture and Rural Development, who also doubles as the Vice Chairman (Administration) for the steering committee, Hon. Ojemuyiwa Ojekunle, said the relaunching of the RAAMP was an indication of the1 current administration’s commitment to the agricultural sector.

He added that the initiative would encourage more investments in agribusiness and alleviate poverty for rural dwellers.

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PhotoNews: Tinubu pays condolence visit to late Governor Ajimobi’s widow

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National Leader of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu on Friday visited Mrs Florence Ajimobi, wife of late former Governor of Oyo State, Senator Abiola Ajimobi at the late governor’s  residence in Lagos to condole with her over the death of her husband.

The APC leader was accompanied by Elegushi of Ikateland, Oba Saheed Ademola Elegushi.

Late Ajimobi, an Asiwaju Tinubu’s fanatic loyalist, governed Oyo state between 2011-2019. Until his death, he was the Deputy National Chairman (South) and Acting National Chairman of the All Progressives Congress (APC).

 

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‘Lebanese Ambassador did not storm out of the Conference room’-  House of Reps’ Diaspora Committee

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The Chairperson, House of Representatives’ Committee on Diaspora Affairs, Hon. Tolulope Akande-Sadipe on Friday said the informal meeting held with the Lebanese Ambassador to Nigeria, Diab Houssam yesterday was cordial, very constructive and set the stage for more collaboration, adding that the perceived walk-out was misconstrued.

 

The Ambassador, Diab Houssam was said to have arrived at the meeting venue around 11:00 am, but met journalists and some other government officials, including the Minister of State for Foreign Affairs, Zubairu Dada.

 

The chairperson said that the story circulating as to the Lebanese’s Ambassador storming out of the room was wrongfully presented. An executive session was not clearly presented to him by the foreign affairs Liaison officer and he stepped out of the meeting room not slamming any doors, to wait in the hallway till journalists were excused for the executive session.

 

In Hon. Akande-Sadipe’s words, “It was a misunderstanding; it was meant to be an informal meeting and the ambassador was not aware that even when we have our informal meetings it is documented. Because of the law of diplomacy, he wasn’t expecting to have media there and it was immediately resolved that it was going to be an ‘executive session’. The minister apologised on behalf of foreign affairs and the executive session commenced with all in attendance. Under Vienna convention an Ambassador cannot be summoned to a committee hearing and the initial presence of the media made it seem otherwise”.

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She further said, “it was an informal meeting and the ambassador with his interest for long standing cordial relationship between Nigeria and Lebanon joined us to forge a continued progressive association and solutions to the issue of Temitope Ariwolo and the menace of human traficking

 

She appreciated journalists for their coverage, but enjoined them to avoid sensational headlines that are counter-productive.

 

She said, “Some of the headlines were clear distortion of the reality of what happened.”
“The session commenced and ended on a very cordial note, with a resolution to continue efforts to ensure that the long-standing positive relationship between the two nations continues, a stronger collaboration and a stronger resolve and commitment to end human trafficking.”

 

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Makinde pays homage to his late Dad’s burial ground

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Oyo state governor, Engr. Oluseyi Makinde on Friday paid homage to his late father’s burial ground.

 

The governor who made this known via his verified Facebook page posted, “today, I remember my father, friend and mentor, Pa Olatunbosun Makinde, who passed eight years ago in July 2012. His memory remains in my heart now and always.Makinde pays homage to his late Dad burial ground”

 

 

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