By Ismaeel Uthman
The State Government of Osun has spent a total sum of N3.4bn on the dredging of 344.44km waterways in some parts of the state to prevent flooding.
Governor Rauf Aregbesola stated at the commissioning and handing over to the State Government of Osun, the Completed Erosion Control Ecology Projects in Osogbo by the Minister for Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed.
Aregbesola commended President Muhammadu Buhari led federal government for improving on the intervention to the state government through the office of ecological fund by lining the water channels with concrete walls which will make it last longer and work more efficiently.
Aregbesola warned residents of Osogbo and environs against dumping refuse on waterways especially during the rain, stressing that this will lead to blockage sooner than later.
The governor said, “I am so excited about what is happening today because it is an improvement on the intervention we have made for our people on the issue of flooding. Before our advent, flooding used to be a yearly mishap in Osun.
“We have already spent about N3.4billion on the dredging of about 344.44 kilometers of waterways and so we are very excited when the federal government decided to line the water channels with concrete to make it last longer and more useful.
“It is worthy of note that this is the first time in the history of the nation that the federal government will execute a project, commission it and ensure that it is delivered to the state government for maintenance.
“I urge our people to desist from throwing waste on waterways during rain for it to last longer.”
In his address, the Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed said the project was executed by the FG as part of the government’s erosion control measures aimed at rescuing Nigerians from flooding.
Mohammed disclosed that the FG has spent N2.156billion on the newly commissioned channelization projects, as phase one was constructed with N1, 257,791,992.86 while phase II was constructed with N463, 987,000, completed with N434, 991,000 respectively.
He said the completion of the projects would enhance holistic solutions to soil erosion, flood menace as well as reducing the dangers to lives and property associated with erosion and persistent flooding that had been experienced in Osogbo, State of Osun and Nigeria at large.
The minister held that since governance is about the people, the FG embarks on the various ongoing massive investments across the country in projects that are of direct benefit to the citizens, including roads, rail, power and other infrastructural programmes.
He said: “The Federal Government will continue to execute projects that will benefit the people across the country’s six geo-political zones, and this has been attested to by the ongoing massive infrastructural projects being carried out across the country.
“Between 2016 and today, the Buhari Administration has spent over N1.3 trillion on infrastructural projects. This is bound to attract the kind of investment that will trigger growth in critical sectors like agriculture, solid minerals and tourism, thus moving the economy away from oil.
“It will impact directly on lives and property in the township and, in the end, improve the lives of the residents, “he stressed.
The Minister urged the good people of Osogbo town and indeed the state Government of Osun to kindly guard the project jealously and take ownership of it, thus ensuring its maintenance and sustainability.