Even sceptics and naysayers now know and accept that beneath the urbane, smouldering good looks of Governor Dapo Abiodun lies a profound knowledge of the underpinnings for a prosperous state. Add to this is a steely, self-assured commitment to harmonise everything required to build and bequeath a Greater Ogun State for today’s generation and posterity. Among other sectors, the governor has been earning plaudits by the number of roads he has started and completed in barely three years in office.
Duly earned, arguably, therefore, is the new appellation of the ‘Roadmaster.’
okIn a statement recently, the governor said, “Over 2,000 kilometers of roads have been awarded, completed, and commissioned by the present administration so far. Besides the 14-Kilometres Ijebu-Ode- Mojoda-Epe road and the 42-kilometers Abeokuta-Siun-Sagamu Interchange, the state government had delivered on Ikola/Navy-Osi Ota/Raypower and 4-kilometres Idi Aba-Elite-Oke-Lantoro roads and is working towards commissioning the 19-Kilometre Attan-Lusada-Agbara road that leads to the largest industrial estate in the West Africa sub-region.”
The governor continued, “Last year, the government built 54 roads across the state – 29 in Ogun Central, 10 in Ogun West, and 15 in Ogun East. It expended a total of N7.389b on the projects, including Raypower, Navy-Osi-Ikola roads in Ado-Odo/Ota local government; the Fajol-Ajegunle-America Junction-Alogi road and American Junction-Unity Estate road in Abeokuta South and Odeda local government areas; and the Ejirin-Mobalufon-Oluwalogbon road (Ijebu-Ode LGA) and Ilaro-Owode road in Yewa South Local Government Area.”
The statement further announced that the governor had approved road projects in six LGAs – Ijebu East, Ogun Waterside, Yewa South, Ikenne, Ijebu North, and Odogbolu, adding that it aligned with the Abiodun-led government’s promise not to develop a part of Ogun at the expense of others.
He said, “We have included the two local government areas – Ogun Waterside and Ijebu East – that did not benefit new road projects until now. Also, the 24.5-kilometers Ilaro-Iwoye-Owode road in Yewa South local government area has been prioritised and awarded.”
The statement further noted that the litigation surrounding the 24KM Ikenne-Ilishan-Ago-Iwoye Road, which spans Ikenne, Odogbolu, and Ijebu-North local government areas, had been resolved and that construction work had reached soil mounting and is progressing as scheduled. When completed, the road would ease the domestic and commercial activities of residents, travellers, and private and public enterprises within the axis.
“Also to be constructed is the 3.8 kilometers Togunrin-Tigara Agodo road in Ogun Waterside and the 1.8 kilometers Esure-Mushin Road in Ijebu- East local government area.”
The roads are to be completed between six and nine months and will join the ongoing road projects that have continued steadily according to schedule.
Taking to his social media platforms recently, the governor announced that his administration had completed the Ijebu Ode-Epe-Sagamu-Benin Expressway Interchange. “For ease of movement and connection of travelers to their destinations, this project will complement the newly commissioned 14Km Ijebu-Ode-Mojoda-Epe toll road,” he stated.
It would be recalled that earlier in January, President Muhammadu Buhari was in Ogun State to commission some legacy projects of Governor Abiodun, two of which are the 42-Kilometre Sagamu Interchange-Abeokuta Road, and the 14km Ijebu-Ode-Epe Expressway.
An excited President Buhari, while applauding Abiodun for justifying the mandate of the people of Ogun State and representing the All Progressives Congress, APC, very well, declared, “Just across the road is the 42-kilometre Sagamu-Interchange-Abeokuta Road which the state government has reconstructed and equipped with street lights. That road enjoys a direct linkage with the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway that the Federal Government is rebuilding and is due for completion later this year.
President Buhari said further, “I am particularly impressed by the quality and standard of your road projects, and the creative way you have deployed resources to reconstruct and rehabilitate them. These roads also fit well into our rail transportation masterplan that connects Lagos, Nigeria’s economic capital to Kano, with Ogun State having more rail stations, along the Lagos-Ibadan rail corridor.’’
Cognisant of the parlous state of roads at the outset of his administration, Governor Abiodun established the Ogun State Public Works Agency as a quick-fix mechanism. Between then and now, several intra-city roads have been rehabilitated or freshly constructed because of the governor’s belief that motorable roads are a boost for economic activities.
On the anniversary of his second year in office, the governor said, “We have worked on over 600km of rural, intra-state, and inter-state roads spread across the three senatorial districts of the state in line with our commitment to an even development of the state and the completion of inherited projects that benefit the citizens.
“The reconstructed roads include our arterial roads linking us with Lagos State such as Ray Power Road, and Ikola/Navy-Osi-Ota Road in Ota which were commissioned three days ago; Ijebu -Ode to Epe road, scheduled for commissioning in the next few days; and Atan – Lusada-Agbara road which was flagged off last month and is due for completion in 15 months.”
In another social media post days back, the governor said, “This afternoon, we inspected the ongoing 19km Atan-Lusada-Agbara roadworks scheduled to be ready by the end of this year. To complement the road construction, we are also building an ultramodern fire station which will be equipped with a new fire truck and ambulance. We have also called for the enumeration and assessment of those whose structures were affected by the roadworks, to compensate them as soon as possible.”
While commending President Buhari for the prompt approval of the request for the transfer of the rehabilitation, reconstruction, and maintenance of the Atan-Lusada-Agbara road to the state, he said that his administration decided to embark on its reconstruction to give succour to the residents and industries along the axis. He assured that the road will be completed soon and that all the roads leading to industrial areas and farm settlements in the state will be prioritised to boost economic growth and development.
There is also the 10.25kilometre Lusada-Igbesa road constructed in partnership with the Ogun Guandong Free Trade Zone, Igbesa, which the governor described as a commendable project given its benefits for improved investments and individual prosperity of all the people in Igbesa, Lusada, and adjoining towns.
He added, “As an adjoining road, it is important to note that the full benefits of this newly constructed road can be realised only when the Atan-Lusada-Agbara road is rehabilitated and reconstructed. That import is not lost on us. All things being equal, the road will be completed soonest and both the Atan-Lusada-Agbara road and the Lusada-Igbesa Free Trade Zone road will complement each other for the full benefits of our people.”
Describing his administration as a season of project completion in Ogun State, Governor Abiodun said that the expanded 2.5km Elite-Oke Lantoro joins the current set of roads ready for asphalting and that it will be delivered very soon with walkways and covered drainage. The alternative road, he added, will not only ease congestion at Iyana Mortuary but also improve accessibility to its host communities.
Despite these achievements in road construction, Governor Abiodun is not particularly happy with the state of federal roads in the state. He disclosed that the sum of N13billion would be needed to reconstruct the failed portions of the Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta expressway while adding that N75bn would be needed to fix the entire stretch of the road. But this could have been fixed except that, according to the governor, “The Federal Government is owing Ogun State over N300 billion for the various federal roads we have constructed so far. Concerning the Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta expressway, when the engineers were asked to assess the road, they put the cost of reconstructing the failed portions at about N13bn, while the sum of N75bn will be needed to reconstruct the entire stretch of the road. Our State does not have such an amount of money.”