Through Garba Ibrahim
Poverty has become a major and undisputed socio-economic problem in most countries, especially developing countries.
In Nigeria, despite its abundant agricultural resources and oil wealth, poverty is widespread in the country. The population lives below the poverty line, and social services and infrastructure are limited.
Poor rural men and women depend on agriculture for their food and income. About 90 percent of Nigeria’s food is produced by small-scale farmers who cultivate small plots of land and depend on rainfall.
This has led to an individual approach to fight poverty and develop rural areas according to their specific needs.
In Nasarawa State, the administration of Governor Abdullahi Sule has adopted a multidimensional approach to reduce the level of poverty and create wealth and jobs.
The state government has established a rural transformation agency that will help bring government closer to rural areas, increase business activity and reduce insecurity to a significant level.
The agencies are building in a short time more than 600 kilometers of feeder roads and have opened up rural areas to a wide range of activities and reduce socio-economic crimes. The roads have also brought the state together with most of its trading counterparts across the country.
Traders from Kano, Sokoto, and Gombe states now travel to the state to purchase peanuts, egusi, and yams. The people of Abuja now come to Panda, in the local government of Karu, to buy plantain instead of going to the far east.
Most importantly, roads are opened in areas where farmers can access markets to sell their products without depending on middlemen. The road from Angoro to Bassa has helped tackle insecurity and increase activities in Arusu and Amba markets, all of which fall under the local government of Kokona.
Mararaba-Udege in Nasarawa local government has dramatically increased the population of the area on a daily basis due to people coming from the east. Mararaba in Odu and Udege where farmers gather with egusi trailers to nearby markets.
The road from Sisinbaki to Kwarra to Wamba LG, until then a death trap, is now a nylon road that only takes 15 minutes to travel instead of the usual hour.
This has helped reduce the level of poverty and domestic criminal elements among rural communities in rural areas and connect them to other communities. Rural roads have breathed new life into rural communities.
Christopher Dakum from Sisinbaki said the government not only wiped away their tears, but also reduced their hardships: “Our agricultural products would have rotted here because there was no road to transport them to market. But now we have increased our business activities ”
Gowon Ali from Moro in Akwanga LG said the opening of Moro Road has helped farmers. He thanked the government for the rural road connecting Moro to Gudi:
“The road helped comfort the farmers, as prominent businessmen from the north and east turned Nasarawa state into a business center, especially with the relative peace enjoyed by the country. State.
“Farmers now have high yields of peanuts, millets, soybeans, corn, sesame seeds, egusi, rice and yams. “
In Jangwa, Awe LG, food trailers are transported to the east. Residents testified that the ongoing construction of the twin bridge along the Ribi-Jangwa Road is already having a positive impact on the community.
The government’s rural development program has linked farming communities with urban centers, revealing the hidden potential of agriculture, contributing over 80% of people’s livelihoods through yam cultivation in Assakio, millet, peanuts, corn and other crops.
Nuhu Muhammad a tea seller (Mai Shayi), at the Atsakio-Obi junction, said, “The road was in very bad condition, which made it very difficult for people to travel to other villages, especially during the rainy season. With the construction and leveling of the road, you can see the vehicles and people moving freely.
A pick-up driver, Ibrahim Adamu, said: “We don’t go through Lafia or other roads anymore. I am happy now because I can take passengers from Obi and come back to Assakio. As a father, it has improved my income and my standard of living.
Maryam Adamu, a farmer, said: “Before, we either walked or had a bicycle to take us to the farm. Today, there are vehicles that do that.
Residents of Angwa Bem, a Tiv community where one of the new bridges is located, expressed their joy at the bridge’s completion. Their youth leader, Terseh Alanchacha, said the particular area where the bridge was built had in the past “swallowed” a trailer with goods and people on board and none came out alive.
He said: “Sule’s administration is a blessing to the community. We can now sell our produce from the farm to the roadside and make an income. “
The Asakio-Obi road, which connects more than six villages, allowed villagers to easily transport their goods to the market, to access the school and the health center located along the road.
It is in this context that the rich and poor of these communities would benefit from the government’s rural road development program.
A media group, Alhaqmedia Concepts, observed that building a bridge connecting communities to Azara would facilitate the cultivation and harvesting of crops and the movement of people and goods.
A community leader from Buayi, Namo Abdullah, said of the bridge: “We only depend on the canoe to transport the goods. And our people are suffering because our people are crossing the bridge via Buayi or Jangwa. “
The government also connected Agwade-Shupe-Atabula-Obi. Drainages and short bridges were built for the inhabitants of the Peuls, Tiv, Koro (Miligi), Eggon and Alagos. A resident of Aakyo, Mr. Britus Danjuma, testified that the construction of the road reduced their suffering:
“As you can see, we are farmers. Many of our people come here to buy corn, peanuts, millet and other crops in Lafia. We want the government to build another market where the products can be sold instead of going to Shabu. “
Other communities that benefited from the road construction included Shabu, Gambo, Dogo Yaro, Sabon Pegi, Samunaka, Doka, Arugababa, Arugbalamu and Lakio.
• Ibrahim of Alhaqmedia Concepts wrote of Lafia.