How Massive Road Construction Changed Negative Narratives In Osun

By Ismaeel Uthman

The negative narratives on the administration of Governor Rauf Aregbesola by members of the public, and particularly the opposition parties have been fading away, investigation has revealed.

OSUN DEFENDER noted that the perception of the people of the state about the Aregbesola’s administration is gradually changing, with favourable comments from the general public.

Investigations revealed that the completion of some projects which some of the people thought had been abandoned restored hope and confidence in the minds of the people who had been feeling disappointed in the Aregbesola’s administration.

Some of the projects which the people had thought had been abandoned included the 40km Dualisation of Osogbo-Ikirun-Ila-Odo-KWSB road, 17.40km Oba Adesoji Aderemi/Osogbo-East bypass road, 2.80km Olaiya-Ita Olokan and dualisation of Gbongan to Akoda.

But the continued construction of the roads, in spite of the financial challenges facing the state, keeps surprising the people and has left them wondering on how and where the governor is getting the fund for the continuity of the projects.

The reconstruction of Olaiya-Ita Olokan road has been completed and already named ‘Workers Drive’ by Aregbesola.

Commuters on the road have been passing positive comments on Aregbesola’s administration because of its standard.

The road will be commissioned soon.

OSUN DEFENDER visited the Gbongan-Akoda road which hosts a trumpet bridge named after the former governor of the state, Chief Adebisi Akande, and noted that the dualisation was almost at Ode-Omu, which is few kilometer away to Akoda.

The construction of the Bisi Akande Trumpet brigde has been completed.

According to the Commissioner for Works and Transport, Engr. Kazeem Salami, about 3km of some parts of the road were constructed with reclamation process and stone boulders.

When OSUN DEFENDER inspected the Osogbo-Ikirun-Ila-Odo-KWSB road construction on Wednesday, the dualisation was almost at Ikirun, Ifelodun local government.

Commercial transporters who are the major commuters on the roads have been expressing their satisfaction on the project, describing it as smooth and friendly to their vehicles.

The Oba Adesoji Aderemi/Osogbo East-bypass is also nearing completion. The four bridges of the road have been completed. The bridges were built over a railway, Osun River, a major road and the other one on another Osun Rivers.

The bridges are named: November 26th, 5 Judges, November 27th and August 8th respectively.

The road, which is nearing its completion, has already been functioning as viable alternative route for commuters just passing through the state without having to go through the traffic in the city.

Traffic now flows freely within the state, as the new By Pass provides alternative route to various destinations within and outside Osogbo, the state capital. When completed, the road, which is circular, will link with the Ring Road (Ibrahim Babangida Way) to form a complete circle round the state capital Osogbo.

From Stadium, the tarring of the road is at Testing Ground, going to Oke-Baale. The road had been tarred from Dele Yes Sir to Ilesa garage.

During his courtesy visit to the governor last Friday, the Director-General, Federal Radio Corporation of Nigeria, Dr. Monsur Liman lauded Aregbesola on the massive development his administration has recorded in infrastructure.

According to Liman, it is evident that Aregbesola has transformed the state with road construction, bridges, beautiful environment, schools among others.

Commenting on the road constructions, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr Adelani Baderinwa said massive road construction would enhance economic development and it would enhance smooth transportation of farm produce and goods.

Baderinwa maintained that good infrastructure is the bedrock of socio-economic development, explaining that the massive road construction put in place by Aregbesola’s administration have been connecting people, driving commerce and maintaining global competitiveness.

He noted that the road construction would in no time reduce costs in many economic sectors in the state by providing better accessibility to markets, increase employment, bring in foreign investment and improve global presence in the state.

Baderinwa said Aregbesola deliberately named the Olaiya-Ita Olokan road after workers in the state in appreciation of their sacrifice, understanding and support at the trying period of the state.

In his comment, the Commissioner for Works and Transport, Salami expressed satisfaction on the quality of work done by the contractors handling the projects, just as he lauded Aregbesola for his focus on the completion of the roads in spite of the paucity of fund.


Photonews: Aregbesola’s Unending Legacy Of Road Construction

The following pictures are shots from the masterpiece of Road Projects embarked on by the administration of Governor Rauf Aregbesola in the State of Osun, which has hitherto earned him the name “ONA-BABA-ONA”, the Architect of Road Construction.

Captured by Taofeeq Adebayo, the pictures mirror several projects especially in Osogbo, the state capital where some road projects are hitherto nearing completion or getting their finishing touches.

It also shows the level of expertise, quality, dynamism and beautiful state of these roads constructed by the present administration in the state.

Still On Osogbo/Okinni/Ilobu Road

Let me again appeal to the Federal Government and the State Government of Osun to come to the aid of residents of Osogbo/Okinni/Ilobu Road axis on the bad condition of their roads, which has not received any attention over the years.

Residents of the area have to go through difficulties in accessing their homes due to the bad condition of the road, and even in some emergency cases have gone beyond control, as travelling through the route has always been a serious thing.

Several appeals have gone to the state and federal governments for interventions, all to no avail, hence the road remain dilapidated.

While the Osun government can be exonerated on the bad condition of the road, because the road belongs to the federal government, the same thing cannot be said of the government at the centre, moreso that we have a representative in Abuja, in person of the Deputy Speaker of the House of Representatives, Honourable Lasun Yusuff who is well positioned to influenced the reconstruction of the road.

The irony of it all is that Honourable Yusuff passes through the road on weekly basis, especially of recent when he started consultations for his ambition to occupy governorship seat in the state next year.

While individuals have done their best to ensure that the road is passable, they do not have the financial wherewithal to ensure its sustainability, hence the need for government interventions.

Much as the state government can be exonerated, being a closer government to the people than the federal, we appeal that something should be done, even if it is just grading of the road.

Residents of the axis will quite appreciate any intervention coming from any quarter.

Fashola Canvasses Tax Relief For Investors

Federal Government offers Tax relief to individuals corporate organization investors who are ready to invest in Nigeria road infrastructure.

Babatunde Fashola the Minister of Power, Work and Housing made the offer speaking to Journalists in Abuja yesterday.

He said the idea was to attract the private sector to road maintenance.

According to Mr. Fashola, the initiative will be implemented under a tax recovery order that exists under the Companies’ Income Tax Act.

The minister said that what it really meant technically was that the government was spending the taxes it should collect in advance to quickly respond to places where there were pains.

“Some of these companies or most of them make profits and they should pay tax at the end of the day.

“So, it is not a method that is new but it is something that we are going to be using more frequently.

“Government is saying that if you invest in infrastructure that the public will use, it will give you some tax relief as well as commend and welcome the initiative.

“So, we welcome individuals and corporations that have money to intervene on certain roads and then get tax relief in return,” he said.

Mr. Fashola said that the federal government had gotten an offer from the Dangote Group under this initiative to rehabilitate some roads in Lagos State.

He said Dangote had before the offer voluntarily agreed to rehabilitate two kilometers of Wharf Road in Apapa, Lagos.

According to him, beyond what Dangote has done voluntarily, it is also offering to take over the entire stretch of road from Creek Road-Liverpool Road-Apapa through Tincan-Oshodi-Mile 2.

Mr. Fashola said that another company, Lafarge had also adopted the initiative in Cross River to build a road.

Why the Value of Land Increased in Osun

For many who have seen Osun as a state where cheap or almost free land is easily available in the urban centers, they may need to have a rethink, as check around various areas in the state reveals the value of land has increased to around 1000% and 2000% in some cases in the past few years.

In Osogbo, the state capital, a hectare of land that sold for N250,000 in 2010, now sells for N5m to N10m, depending on the area. In fact, a plot of land at the Government Reserved Area, GRA Osogbo sells for as high as N30m to N40m. The story is the same in other areas of the state. Areas like Ilesha, Ile-Ife, Ikirun, Iwo among others have seen a sharp increase in the price of land. Similarly, the prices of real estate have also taken a hit.

An Estate Valuer, Mr. Samson Ogini, who resides in Ede noted that the sharp increase in price of real estate can be attributed to the level development across the state. Ogini noted that several areas in and out of Osogbo and other areas of the state with poor access in 2010, have now been opened up. Several inner city roads have been constructed, thereby increasing the value of real estate.

However, speaking on the rate of road construction across the state, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works, State of Osun, Engr. Nurudeen Adeagbo stated that the administration of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola embarked on road construction projects across the state when he came on board in November 2010 to improve the quality of living our people, increase access to markets and drive investments into the state.

Speaking further, Engr. Adeagbo stated that the administration of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola facilitated the construction of 310km of roads across all local government areas, with a distribution of an average of 10km of per LGA.

Still on inner-city roads, Engr. Adeagbo revealed that, “the government constructed the Eripa-Ila road, Ila; Olaiya-Okefia road, Osogbo; Osogbo East Bypass Road 1, Osogbo, among others. The government has constructed inner-city roads covering 558km, the permanent secretary noted.

“Township roads in excess of 138kms have also been completed, with the rehabilitation of Mokore farm settlement road, construction of 20KM Alaguntan-Alepaanu farm Settlement Road and the construction of 5.5 Km road at farmers plank sellers’ market, Ido Osun, among others.”

A bus driver, Ganiyu Kehinde and commercial motorcyclist, Bashiru Akinsalo who spoke separately, commended the government for intensifying efforts on road construction and bringing massive infrastructural development into the state.

Ganiyu also noted that the huge number of new roads scattered across the state has not only made access easier but have also reduced the risk of accidents on the roads.

FG Acclaims N80 billion for construction of roads across 12 states

The federal government on Wednesday approved N80 billion for the construction of roads across 12 states.

The government also approved N150.8 million for consultancy and engineering design for access road 1 and 2 ‎to link Asaba in Delta State to Onitsha in Anambra State and the Second Niger Bridge.These were some of the outcomes of the weekly meeting of the Federal Executive Council, FEC, presided by President Muhammadu Buhari for the second time since his return from his medical vacation in the UK.

The Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, alongside the Minister of FCT, Mohammed Bello, and the Minister of Information, Lai Mohammed, made the disclosures while briefing State House correspondents at the end of the meeting.

According to Mr. Fashola, the 12 states where roads will be constructed include Adamawa‎, Taraba, Sokoto, Zamfara, Bauchi, Plateau, Osun, Kwara, Kano, Oyo, Enugu and Kaduna.

“The approval is for 12 roads in various states including Numan, Jalingo roads connecting Adamawa‎ and Taraba states, replacement of bridges at Mayachi along Gusau-Sokoto road in Zamfara states, construction of roads in Bauchi, Plateau, Osun, Kwara, Kano, Oyo, Enugu, Kaduna, Kano. The roads are at the cost of N80 billion,” he said.

Mr. Fashola said “another approval is for the engineering and consultancy design for access road 1 and 2 ‎to link Asaba in Delta State and Onitsha in Anambra State to link the Second Niger Bridge project.

“Subsequent to the award of further works of the Second Niger Bridge, we have started work now by this approval on the design of the link road that will connect the two states to the bridge.

“The design is expected to be completed in six months and we will start procurement and as the bridge advances we can then connect the two states. The contract sum is N150.84 million”

The minister also said the Council gave approval for various power projects.

“There was also approvals for power projects. It relates to the extension of the consultancy and project management contract. It is an existing contract for the Katsina Wind Energy Farm project. It was awarded in 2010 and should have been completed in 2013.

“The expatriate who was implementing it was kidnapped and when he was eventually rescued, he never came back and that delayed the project.

“But we have revived the project. A new contracting team is back on site. The contract of the consultants representing us has expired and so we are extending his contract to cover new period of completion,” he said.

Mr. Fashola said the last contract approved on power is the power sector recovery program.

He said the program comprises many policy actions and operational and financial interventions that need to be carried out by government to improve transparency and service delivery in the performance of distribution companies, Discos, and the Transmissions Company of Nigeria.

He said the aim is to create more viable power sector that is private sector driven.

“Some of the highlights of the program is how to simplify and reduce the cash deficits that have accumulated ‎as a result of previous unilateral reductions of tariff by the last administration during the running of the elections;

“How to make the Discos viable, accountable, responsive to customers, ensure stability of the grid and expansion of the grid and transparency and communication within the sector;

“And also processes for Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) debts and how to improve sector governance, our roles in the the quality of personnel on the board of the DISCO, it addresses access to renewable energy especially in rural areas using mini-grids and standalone solutions, and how we are going to carry out the solutions that have been developed for 37 federal universities and seven tertiary hospitals;

“And how to solve the Niger Delta problem, and also how to ensure there is a stable and predictable foreign exchange policy for the sector so that it is somewhat protected from sudden head winds of the volatility of the Foregien Exchange Market. So that they can plan and deliver,” he said.

The minister said the new program will look to address validations at consumer and production levels of pipelines so as to bring confidence to the market and stimulate the appetite that currently exists globally for Nigeria’s power sector.

“We see a lot of people who want to invest but some of them are tied to what other international financial institutions do‎ and the institutions are also waiting to see us commit to these things”, he said.

On his part, the Minister of FCT, Mr. Bello said three key infrastructure projects were also approved by the Council.

There was “approval for the award of contract for Phase 2 of the Abuja Mass Transit Lot 1B (26.77km) which is from Ring Road I, passing through Area 10 beside Wuse Market, Berger Junction, Jabi Motor Park, through Life Camp to Gwagwa,” he said.

Mr. Bello said the project was awarded to China Civil Engineering Construction Company, CCECC, at the cost of $1.79 billion; under a funding arrangement by NEXIM Bank.

Other projects for the FCT were Jahi District Infrastructure which was put at N19.473 billion and a 5km road to link Ring Road III to Wasa Junction with Karshi-Ara-Apo Road placed N2.454 billion.