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Govt begs World Bank for financial aid to build roads

By The Citizen
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The Federal Government has made a request to the World Bank for supplementary financial aid for the rehabilitation and expansion of more economically viable roads across the country.

The Minister of Works, Mr. Mike Onolememen, made the request in Abuja  on Monday when he received the World Bank's Federal Road Development Programme team.

The government said the fund would enable it to open more arterial roads with a view to achieving its transformation agenda.

The team was led by the Senior Infrastructure Economist, Sustainable Development Department, Europe and Central Asia, World Bank, Mr. Mohammed Essakali.

Onolememen said, 'Like Oliver Twist, we will continue to ask for more. We want the World Bank to take a look at some of our economic corridors that did not benefit from the first phase of the federal roads development projects so as to help support the Federal Government's initiative at repositioning Nigerian roads to better serve or play their role in support of the nation's economic activities.

'We look forward to a fruitful discussion on how we can better collaborate in order to achieve better results for the good of the people in this country.'

The minister told the World Bank team that work would soon begin on the 300-kilometre Akure-Ilesha road before the end of this month.

According to him, the Federal Government signed the contract for the road project a few weeks ago.

He pledged to give the project the needed attention considering the viability of the road to the economy of the South-West states and the country generally.

Onolememen said, 'In the past two years, we have witnessed phenomenal increase in the level of activities in the federal roads development project. This is how it should be.

'I am happy that you are glad about the progress we have made, and I want to assure you that in the months and years ahead, we are working harder to bring these federal roads development projects to a quick conclusion so that we can possibly begin the next phase.'