Prince Dapo Abiodun has embarked on 80 km road work since he became the Governor of the Gateway State in 2019, and this is being applauded by the residents of the Gateway State.
It is on record that within a year in office, the Governor completed 20km out of the conceptualised 80km road projects.
Governor Abiodun visited one of the sites; the Ijebu Ode – Epe Road on Wednesday to inspect the level of works there.
We present to you the impression of the Governor about the road projects and his plans for other roads in the state.
Looking at the strategic Ijebu – Ode – Epe road and people’s expectation, are you satisfied with the pace of work on that road?
For us in Ogun State, the Ijebu – Ode – Epe road will allow us to further open up this area for industrial purposes. This has now become another evacuation corridor into the Lekki area in Lagos, where we have the Lekki Free Trade Zone, Dangote Refinery, and we have a new port coming up.
So, this is another industrial corridor and we have begun to receive a lot of expression of interest and desire application for industrial land, industrial estate, trailer parks, and so on and so forth on this road.
We are very excited about that because it will provide employment opportunities for our people immediately. So, this road that we flagged off in February is meant to be concluded sometime early next year. But from all indications, COVID-19 and rain will extend it to around this time next year (July). So, we believe that God willing by this time next year, this road should have been completed.
However, I have instructed the contractor that this construction must not cause our people too much pain and suffering. I have instructed that by this weekend they should provide palliatives, particularly in Ijebu-Ode area so that the journey of our people will be more pleasurable, and I think that is acceptable.
What other plans do you have for roads in Akute – Alagbole axis?
I’m happy that you asked this question. I should actually have spoken about that. I see that the Akute – Alagbole road, Ishasi road, and the Journalists Estate Road roads have attracted a lot of media attention lately and I’m not surprised. What I want to say first is to remind us that this Dapo Abiodun-led administration has only been in office for a year and about a month. So, whatever condition the roads are in today is not the making of this administration. Within a short time that this administration has been in office, we have embarked on an aggressive construction of about 80 kilometres of road. We’ve completed over 20 kilometers in terms of new roads and I believe that, if my memory doesn’t fail me, I do not know any administration that did over 20 kilometres of road in one year. Beyond that, we have embarked on the rehabilitation of roads, about 50 kilometres and this is not just talk, the roads are there for all to see.
Given the number of abandoned or uncompleted roads in the state, indigenes and residents of the state are expecting that quick attention should be given to them in order to lessen their hardship on those roads. What is your take on this
What we did when we assumed office is that we set up a committee to look at all the roads that we inherited. The committee’s charge was to do an assessment of the completion level of those roads, the contract sums, how much is owed, and prioritize those roads for us. That committee has since submitted its report. Though they have not formally given it to us, they’ve given me an informal copy of that report. And what we’ve done is that we took that informal copy, we looked at it and the ones that measured up to be our priority, we began work on them. It means that all the ones that we inherited and those that are on our priority list, we have since sat down with the contractors, reevaluated the projects, mobilised them to go back to site and that is why you see that they’ve gone back to site. They have gone back to site in Kuto Bridge, Rounder road, Ilaro-Owode road and so on.
But no work is going on at the Akute – Agbole road.
Now to go back to Akute road, there are two roads in that corridor. Those two roads, one of them was originally awarded for over N30 Billion, the other one was awarded for over N40 Billion. It’s beyond me how that administration had planned to fund the construction of those roads with so many bridges, some of them were meant to be six-lane roads. However, government is a continuum. What we did was that we phased out the rehabilitation and construction of roads in order of priority, especially the roads in that corridor. There is one that goes from Ota to Akute, and then the other one that goes from Ishasi, Ojodu, Akute. They are in our second phase of projects, which were meant to commence immediately after our first year in office. So, those roads are front burners for us right now. We are currently looking at them, we are naturally looking at how to ensure that we not only begin work on them, but we want to ensure that we complete them. We are reevaluating them, we are looking at ways and means of ensuring that they are within budget. Of course, we can’t afford to spend N70 Billion on those two roads only.