UPDATE: Abiodun, Osoba meet Buhari in Aso Rock
• Abiodun seeks transfer of federal roads to Ogun, Lagos States
The governor of Ogun State, Dapo Abiodun and former Governor Segun Osoba have met with President Muhammadu Buhari at the presidential villa, Abuja to demand the handover of Epe-Ijebu Ode and Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta roads to Ogun and Lagos States.
They were in the president’s office, on Thursday, to also canvass for assistance for the agricultural sector of the state.
Speaking to State House correspondents after the meeting, Governor Abiodun said the states have been able to secure the necessary funds to rehabilitate the roads as they were important for the states’ rapid development.
Governor Abiodun explained: “We have come to see the President to discuss on how he can use his fatherly position to give us the needed support that will allow us to further expedite action on achieving the vision of the state as we have encapsulated and dimensioned it.
“Our vision for the state is to provide a focus and qualitative governance while creating an enabling environment for a Public-Private sector Partnership.
“We believe that is very fundamental to the economic growth if the state and individual prosperity of our people.
“So in that, lies in – how do we create an enabling environment because we believe an enabling environment leads to economic development. If there is development, there will be individual prosperity.
“One of the critical factors to economic development is access, access to your state. Our state today is the closest state to the biggest economy in this country.
“It is important that people can move between our state and Lagos State and also to the hinterland. Today, the busiest highway in this country passes through our state. You cannot travel between Lagos and the rest of the country without passing through our state.
“So, we came and told the President that there are alternative routes apart from Lagos- Ibadan Expressway. The truth is that even if the construction is completed, that highway does not have the capability to accommodate the traffic that has now completely gone beyond what was anticipated.
“That highway cannot carry that traffic.
“So, we must begin to look for alternative routes. What comes to mind is the Shagamu to Ikorodu road, the Epe to Ijebu-Ode road, the Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta road. These are alternative roads that would allow us to efficiently move people from Ogun to Lagos and vice versa and the rest of the country.
“Today, Ogun State is the industrial capital of this country because people have found it convenient. This administration is even making that better, it has carried out a few reforms to help us to reposition our state.
“We have created the Ogun State Investment Promotion Agency, we have created Ogun State Public-Private Partnership Agency, we’ve created the Ogun State Business Environment Council. All these are agencies that we created that will enable us to market the state better, through the investment promotion agency.
“Second, to ensure that contract between Ogun state and potential partners are not skewed in favour of either the state or those parties – that is the PPP office. And three, the business environment council – is that, once the partner is now in the state, you can call the partner, cut through the bureaucracy involved in applying for land, applying for title, applying for building permit and so on and so forth. That becomes a one-stop-shop.
“To achieve all these, we need to have the right infrastructure.
“So, we came to the president to help us in allowing the Federal Ministry of Works to transfer these roads to us. We would be commercialising them – they are commercial roads anyway.
“The Shagamu to Ikorodu road was the old Ibadan road. We have the biggest NNPC depot on that road. There are so many factories on that road and most of these factories have gone moribund. Trucks drivers are also refusing to go and load on that road.
“If that road is transferred to both Lagos and Ogun state, we will commercialise it, we will have these roads rehabilitated, constructed and upgraded.
“We have already secured the financing for this purpose.
“On the 26 of this month by the grace of God, we will be turning the sod on the Ijebu-Ode to Epe road. This is a state road, Lagos State has done it to their border, we are completing the fourteen kilometres between that border and Ogun State and that road will be completed in one year. But I believe that when that road is completed, people coming from the East, Ondo, Ijebu, Ibadan will have an option, they don’t have to go to Lagos Ibadan expressway. This will ease the ability to do business in Ogun State.
“These are one of the things we came to discuss with Mr President about.”