The World Bank has given the Edo state government a N5.7billion loan facility to tackle the erosion problem at Auchi, Etsako West Local Government Area of the State.
This was revealed on Friday in a press statement signed by the Chief Press Secretary to the Edo state governor, Peter Okhiria.
The governor of the state, Adams Oshiomole, said the decision to look to the World Bank was made after the Federal Government refused to release the ecological funds to tackle erosion in the state that has affected many.
During the commissioning of the Auchi-Jattu-Afashio-Ikabigbo-Ojio road on Thursday, Mr. Oshiomole said that many petitions had been written to the Federal Government to intervene in the erosion problems.
He went further to say that that the Otar of Auchi also led a protest march to that effect.,
“Erosion has been a problem that has been threatening the existence of Auchi as a community. Not only has erosion destroyed the farmlands, erosion has also destroyed a number of roads and even killed a number of our people.
“There was an attempt to address the erosion problem but whereas the people of Auchi wanted a solution, somebody wanted to monetize the problem. They gave the job to a contractor who knows next to nothing and he brought a tractor which he himself could not reclaim from the valleys of the erosion.
“I hold the view that government should not adapt to different specifications in construction of projects whether these are roads or schools or hospitals, government must ensure that the same specifications that prevail in projects located in state capitals are used in projects in local government areas. For me the forgotten majority of men and women do not live in the state capital. The real Nigerians on whose behalf public fund is spent live in places you call hamlets.
“I am therefore proud to say that these dual carriage way of Auchi-Jattu-Afashio-Ikabigbo-Ojio roads have the same specifications as the roads that are constructed in the heart of Benin City and we will therefore ask our young people not to troop to Benin as they can see here the facilities we see in Benin.
”We insist that we can’t build roads without drainage. We insist that when we construct roads, they are meant to last and that is why in building this road, we didn’t only expand it, we ensure that on both sides of the road, we have sidewalks that are not less than two meters wide each and beneath that sidewalks, we have drainage.”
Mr. Oshomole also stated that an estimate and bill of engineering measurements has been carried out. He also added that World Bank have approved the designs and granted a loan for the erosion issues to be addressed on Thursday.