Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun State, on Wednesday, restated the commitment of his administration to fix all poor roads and other infrastructures in deplorable conditions across the state.
Abiodun stated this shortly after inspecting the ongoing construction of 14km Ijebu-Ode-Epe road, urging people not to blame his government for the bad state of roads in the state.
The governor expressed delight at the level of work done so far on the highway, submitting that the road on completion would, no doubt, reduce traffic snarl on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway.
Abiodun said the highway which was flagged off last February, and billed for completion in the early part of the year 2021, would now be completed by July 2021 due to the rainy season and the effect of the coronavirus pandemic.
He noted that the road project under the public-private partnership arrangement upon completion would open up many business opportunities along the corridor.
The governor, who was in the company of the state commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Engr Ade Akinsanya, informed that his administration would redesign the Alagbole-Akute road project started by the last government.
He added that contractors handling various road projects in the state have been mobilised back to the site, stressing that over N70 billion of naira was required to complete the road project.
He said: “We are reevaluating them (abandoned roads), we are looking at ways and means to ensure that they are within budget. Of course, we can’t afford to spend N70billion on those two roads. So, there is a lot of redesigning going on for those roads.
“But we understand the importance of those roads. That road, particularly in Ifo II local government (state constituency), is a very densely populated area which is a border area between us and Lagos State. A lot of our people live there and work in Lagos, they pay taxes to us in Ogun State, the condition of those roads are beyond deplorable.
“But all I can ask is that: you have to be patient with us. We didn’t create this problem. It would be inconsiderate for anyone to expect Dapo Abiodun to have fixed that road in less than 12 months. You know I just got into office, yet to have settled down, I’m yet to take stock of what I met, I’m yet to put things in place. But I understand that because of the season, it is causing more pain than usual.
“But I have since directed the Ministry of Works to look at what we can do on that road as a palliative to ensure that our people do not suffer unduly. I want to use this opportunity to say that I share the pain of our people that live in that corridor, but they should rest assured that we are on top of that situation in terms of redesigning that road and prioritising it.
“They will soon begin to see active work on that road, and it would not be something we are doing for photo-ops or something that we are going to start and abandon it. When we start on that road, having re-dimensioned, reevaluated and redesigned it, we would ensure that we complete it with drainages.
“Because we want to bring more people to live in Ogun State and work in Lagos. We say Ogun State is spillover state for Lagos State, so we want to continue to encourage that but, they should please be patient with us and give us time as we embark on it. It cannot happen overnight.
“Government only has little resources, particularly now that we are dealing with the effects of the pandemic where there is an economic contraction, funding is very scarce and we have to make judicious use of funds allocated between infrastructure, agriculture, food for our people (and) healthcare which has now become a front-burner issue for all of us.”