After a lull, contractors handling the various projects scattered across Ogun State have returned to site. And for about seven hours last Sunday, the Ogun State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, went round some of the new and ongoing projects, starting with the state capital, Abeokuta. Olawale Olaleye, who was with him on the tour writes
For some time now and over what could be regarded as obvious reasons, construction works had slowed down in Ogun State. The challenge of funding was clearly on the front burner amongst other factors reckoned to have been responsible for the lull on the different construction sites across the gateway state.
Naturally, the temporary situation provided temporary opportunity for opponents of the governor to maximize the space and in their subjective analysis, deconstructed the government of Senator Ibikunle Amosun. But that only lasted a fleeting while before activities returned to the turf.
The announcement, about a month ago, that contractors working on all the ongoing projects across the state had been mobilised to return to site, changed the tide completely. Amosun, while briefing journalists after the weekly State Executive Council meeting said, “Contractors working on all our ongoing projects have been mobilised back to site across the state in the last one week and activities will now resume fully in all those places”.
The governor, who assured the people of the state that no project would be abandoned by him, said his administration would continue to make meaningful impacts in all the sectors of the state’s economy with special focus on Education, Housing, Agriculture and Health, noting that, “We are determined to change the landscape of Ogun State completely.”
Amosun, who reiterated that he would continue to serve with vigour also assured the people of his administration’s commitment to always place the welfare of Ogun citizens on the front burner. “I will continue to serve the good people of Ogun State with more dedication, vigour and hardwork,” Amosun said.
Consequently, the Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Ms, Adenrele Adesina, recently followed up on this promise when she urged contractors handling the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and Conditional Grant Schemes (CGSs) to scale up projects split across the 20 Local Government and 37 LCDAs of the state, as well as uphold the “Ogun Standard” project and quality of performance that the state was known for.
According to her, the CGSs projects were very germane to the state government, because they are the projects that would have direct impact on the grassroots and described the scheme as a way of ensuring even development across the nooks and crannies of the state.
She, therefore, enjoined the contractors to expedite actions on the contracts with all diligence and seriousness and to uphold “Ogun Standard” in such a way that the image of the state would be projected to an enviable height among the comity of states.
“Knowing that you are in partnership with the state government, and you must uphold the good standard of the state. Try as much as possible to execute the project to the best and world standard, if you must be appreciated”, she said.
However, area that works are currently going on, according to Amosun, include Magboro-Arepo road, Ilara-Ijoun-Ilase road, Ejinrin-Oluwalogbon road, Ijoko-Akute-Alagbole road, Lafenwa-Ayetoro road and Enugada-Adatan road, Ikangba-Ilese-Itele-Ijebu Mushin road that spans across four local government areas, Ijebu Igbo bridge, Ilisan-Ago Iwoye road, Folagbade-Ibadan garage-Imowo road and Sagamu-Ogijo roads.
There is also the Atan-Agbara-Lusada road, Ilo-Awela road, Ilaro-Owode road, Ilaro township road, Ilaro Township Bridge and Ojuore Ota bridge, among several others. Added here are the pedestrian bridges that would be constructed in Panseke, Mowe and Ibafo areas of the state.
Although capital intensive, contractors on the Sango-Ojodu Abiodun road have also been mobilised to return to site with five flyovers, the governor has equally called on the federal government to cede some of the federal roads in the state like the Sagamu-Ogijo road, Papalanto-interchange road, Epe-Ijebu Ode road and Lagos-Sango-Abeokuta road to the state for proper maintenance.
Thus, last Sunday, Amosun, as he is wont to do, set out in company with the Speaker of the state House of Assembly, Hon. Hon. Suraj Adekunbi, to inspect some of the ongoing projects, starting with those in the state capital. Although he had planned to start with Ogun West to assure the people of Yewa of his unalloyed commitment to his promise to them, his itinerary changed of a sudden and had to stay within town. But he has resolved to do Ogun West next Sunday.
Taking it from the ongoing flyover at the NNPC mega station junction, shortly after the governor’s office and directly opposite the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) state secretariat, whose idea is to decongest the traffic that usually slows down vehicular movements in that axis with each to its own without let or hindrance, the convoy immediately left there for the President Muhammamdu Buhari Estate, where he only visited a particular part on the site designated to host a function few days after the inspection. The estate is going to be one of the most outstanding housing projects across the country with modern facilities already installed, coupled with guided building approvals.
From here, the journey continued seamlessly to such other areas like Ago’ka, Iberekodo, Enu Gaga, OGTV-Brewery, Mokola, Saje, Itoko, Olumo, Kenta and Lafenwa-Aiyetoro roads. The common denominator for all the roads is that it is an expansion construction, which unfortunately, required the knocking down of buildings that did not observe the acceptable setbacks regulation before erecting structures.
Whilst the demolition of structures on all the roads was meant to constitute huge hurdle, naturally, many of the residents, who rushed out to cheer the governor praised and thanked him for the initiative that would bring the state closer to its peers in other parts of the world. A majority of them said though it was painful losing their property, they however understood the importance of the project in collective interest.
In some of the places, some of the men and women came out with different complaints – some personal, others connected to the ongoing road works. Amosun, who patiently listened to them, in most cases, explained to them the eventual outcome of what government was doing on their supposed property, added that government would build houses for a majority of them as compensation. There were those who came to beg for employment for their children and he attended to them all, but not without asking relevant questions.
Last Sunday’s inspection also saw Amosun emphasizing standard to the contractors and in other instances, seeking amendment to some of the construction dimensions. In most cases, he went into heated debate with his Commissioner for Works, Mr. Lekan Adegbite, on what was either doable or allowed on certain projects, while Amsoun for most of the time insisted on the overriding public interest.
For a man, who had attained a desirable degree of comfort even as a private citizen, the only thing that could explain Amosun’s passion for the development of Ogun with global standard as the minimum requirement is the urge to make name for himself, family and his unborn generation, as a politician.
The interesting thing is that he finds joy in service to his fatherland and this, he often says with pride. The other good thing is that he was sure that all the ongoing projects for which the contractors had been mobilised would be completed before he leaves office, but of course with the exception of the rail construction which would be hindered by time and not funding.
Certainly, you don’t have to like Amosun and truth is, not everyone will like him. It is natural to have friends and foes on different sides. But what is not debatable by either of the camps is that he is doing a lot to change the course of history and development in the state and the last almost six years have witnessed the kind of change that many years to come would be a reference point in the political trajectory of the state.