International lenders have agreed to finance the lion’s share of a $264m project to improve roads, sanitation, and waste management in the Nigerian state of Abia.
The state’s two main cities – Umuahia, the state capital, and Aba, the commercial hub – are struggling from decades of underinvestment amidst rapid urbanisation. The situation is aggravated by gully erosion and the emergence of huge piles of solid waste on the roads.
The Islamic Development Bank will lend the scheme $125m and the African Development Bank (AfDB) will lend $115m.
The Abia State government will provide some $24m to compensate to people affected by the project and to implement a resettlement plan.
Around 248km of roads will be rehabilitated to asphaltic concrete standards at cross sections by 2029, AfDB said.
Anti-erosion measures will be reinstated in the two cities.
The project will study the feasibility of private sector participation in solid waste management for Umuahia and Aba.
It will also rehabilitate schools and provide sanitation for schools, markets, and hospitals.
The project will create 3,000 temporary jobs (30% for women) at the construction phase, and some 1,000 permanent jobs during the operational phase.
AfDB said the permanent jobs will particularly benefit the youth, who will make up 50% of the workforce.
They will be trained in contract management by the State Youth Road Maintenance Corps, a body of young Abia engineers.