Road construction for economic prosperity

SOME people, through sheer foresight, dedication to duty and a strong passion to affect the lives of others, impact society positively. Prince Dapo Abiodun, the executive governor of Ogun State, is one visionary personality that has carved a niche for himself and earned a reputation for exemplary leadership in all sectors of the economy of the state with his penchant for delivering good governance for all and sundry.  He has won several laurels to his credit, since his assumption of office 29 months ago, despite the intrigues and dirty tricks that his political foes have unleashed to make the state ungovernable. His clear vision and commitment to the ideals of democracy to the good people of Ogun State have kept him on the right track. In his speech at the unveiling of a 2.1 kilometres Lantoro/Idi-Aba road, in Abeokuta South Local Government Area, Abeokuta, on Wednesday, June 16, he said: “In my inaugural speech on May 29, 2019, I made a number of electoral promises. Amongst others, I promised to ensure an even, fair, just and equitable development of all parts of the state; that no part of the state will be developed at the expense of others…I promised that we will complete any inherited projects that has potential to deliver benefits to our state and to the citizenry, whilst we initiate new projects in line with our five (5) developmental pillars: Infrastructure, Social Well-being and Welfare, Education, Youth Empowerment and Job Creation, and Agriculture (ISEYA). It is also our promise that we will be inclusive, transparent, and accountable and always ensure strategic allocation of resources to derive optimal benefits from all our spending.”

There is no gainsaying the fact that the Gateway State has risen from its near comatose on May 29, 2019 to a path of new growth and development in all sectors of the economy, courtesy of a visionary leader. Essentially, a good road network is sine-qua-non to rapid development and growth of any economy. Before the advent of the current administration in Ogun State, we were all living witnesses to the sorry state of the roads in different parts of the state. Apart from the ever-busy roads like Lagos/Sango-Ota/Abeokuta, Ijoko/Ota/Owode, Ijoko/Alagbole/Akute, amongst others, that have witnessed an outcry of rage and protest from members of the public, there were other roads that were in a terrible state in both urban and rural centres.

Abiodun truly deserves a pat on the back for his selfless and bold initiatives in fostering realistic business policies which have propelled the likes of Alhaji Aliko Dangote and Dr Mike Adenuga to show interest in partnering with the state government and also contribute their quotas, especially in the reconstruction of two major highways in the state under the Federal Government Roads Infrastructure Tax Credit policy. The cheering news of the reconstruction of the 64-kilometre Ota/Idiroko roads reinforces the kindness of Adenuga and Dangote in wiping tears of neglect from the faces of the commuters and motorists plying the two major highways.  Under the tax credit, the scheme aims to provide incentives for private sector participation in the provision of funding for the construction, repair, and maintenance of critical road infrastructure in critical economic areas in the country. It is this lofty scheme that will see to the reconstruction of the 64-kilometre Ota-Idiroko road by Globacom Limited in 2022. A company like Globacom with a high tax profile has offered to reconstruct the road in a negotiated agreement, using the tax credit system.

The Federal Government too is not left out of the picture. It has expressed willingness to spend N13.4 billion out of the N56 billion revived contract sum on the failed portions of the 97-kilometre Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta road which will be completed by December. Dangote has also undertaken the reconstruction of 100-kilometre Obele/Ilaro/Papalanto/Sagamu road in the sum of N79.995 billion. Despite the unfavourable circumstances he found himself upon his assumption of office in 2019, Governor Abiodun has shown great vision and uncommon candour to put politics aside and continue with the uncompleted projects he inherited from his predecessor. Credit should be given to him too for initiating new ones.  The swift intervention in the completion of the IBB Presidential Boulevard/NNPC and Kuto flyovers couldn’t have received the much-needed attention, including final touches in respect of tarring inter-connectivity and internal failed portions, if concerted efforts hadn’t been made to fast-track their immediate completion.  There are others, including Elega/Bode-Olude, Panseke, Brewery/Olomore, Adatan/Asero/Obantoko, Lantoro/Elite, Lafenwa/Rounder, Somorin/Kemta/Idi-Aba, Fajol/Unity Estate, Adatan, Kuto/GTB/MTD, Ibara, and above all, Sagamu/Abeokuta roads, all within the state capital, Abeokuta, with a good number completed, while few others are nearing completion.

Who says this energetic and focused governor is not measuring up to global standards of delivering the ideals of democracy to the people? All that is required is for keen political watchers and enlightened people of the state to look back and assess where the state was previously, fast forward to the present and see where the state is now, and then project into the future and behold the glory of where the governor is taking the state to. Uncompleted roads dot every other part of the state, but it has taken the courage and commitment of Mr. Governor to see the entire state as an indivisible family unit with the fair, just and judicious allocation of resources for the speedy completion of abandoned roads in the two other senatorial districts, Ogun West and Ogun East. But come and see the new dimension Governor Abiodun has brought into governance and the results his dynamic leadership is yieldin0g to the Ogun State of our dream. When a leader lives up to his words and leads the people to desired places, let us cheer him up to do more.

  • Joseph writes in from Abeokuta

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