Abiodun vows to redesign, reconstruct abandoned Akute-Alagbole road - SALIENT TIMES ONLINE

Abiodun vows to redesign, reconstruct abandoned Akute-Alagbole road

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By Aremu Sosanya


Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun on Wednesday disclosed the readiness of his administration to redesign and reconstruct the abandoned Ijoko- Agbado-Akute-Alagbole road in Ifo local government area of the state.

The governor, who spoke during the inspection of the 32km abandoned road by the Senator Ibikiunle Amosun administration, noted that the abandoned road had lately generated media attention.

He explained that the state government was doing its best to prioritise the abandoned projects inherited from the immediate past administration of Senator Ibikunle Amosun, adding that contractors have already been mobilised back to some project sites.

While saying over N70billion was required to fix the Akute-Alagbole road, including its bridges, the governor pointed out that his administration had embarked on aggressive construction of about 80 kilometres of road since inception. 

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 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 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 be 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."

Earlier in his remarks, Akinsanya said though the rainy season slowed down the pace of construction, a lot of progress had already been made on the project.

The commissioner assured that based on the directive of the governor, some palliative works would be carried out on the road to alleviate the suffering of those plying it as construction intensified. 

"But overall, we are making a good progress in light of the rain. Before this time next year by God's grace, this road would be in use. This time next year, everybody will be plying the road. We've made a lot of progress," he added. 

Speaking on the Abiodun, ongoing construction of 14km Ijebu-Ode-Epe road, Abiodun urged residents of the state to be patient as the state government intensifies efforts towards fixing poor roads and other infrastructure across the state

The road project, which was flagged off in February, was awarded to an indigenous firm, Craneburg Construction Company, under a public-private partnership arrangement.

The governor expressed satisfaction with the pace of construction work and said the road, when completed, would serve as alternative route to the nation's busiest highway, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, and also open up the Ijebu-Ode-Epe corridor for industrial purposes. 

He explained that many investors have already expressed interest in applying for industrial land along the corridor towards creating businesses that would further provide job opportunities for the people. 

He, however, said due to the rainy season and effects of the coronavirus pandemic, the completion period of the road project would now be in July 2021 as against early next year.