The Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki has reaffirmed his government’s commitment to ensuring improved road infrastructure in the state, noting that his administration is in talks with the Federal Government to improve the experience of commuters on the Benin-Lokoja Road during the festive season.
Obaseki said this when he received some directors from the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, who paid him a courtesy visit at the Government House in Benin City, the Edo State capital.
Governor Obaseki said his administration is ready to cooperate with the Ministry to ensure success in the reconstruction of the road.
He further promised to sensitise those whose houses will obstruct construction works, assuring that necessary compensation will be considered.
The governor said, “The road alignment from Benin to Okene is the main economic artery of Edo State because it cuts across the three senatorial districts of the state. Anything that happens to that road affects both the economy and the administration.
“The poor condition of that road has also affected our internal roads in the state because of the huge traffic that goes through it. When the road is bad all other state roads around it will be affected. It has been like that since the construction of the road started in the last eight years.
“We are in a difficult and desperate situation in Edo State; we are afraid of entering another raining season with that road remaining in that state. Whatever can be done to complete the critical alignment of that road will be appreciated by the Edo State Government”.
Earlier, the Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola said the Ministry will collaborate with the Edo State Government to achieve their developmental objectives in line with the ministry’s mandate on road construction.
The Minister who was represented by the Director, Highways Roads Design, South-South at the Ministry of Works and Housing, Engr. Oluropo Oyetade said the visit to Benin City was to supervise the road design and brief the governor on the effort of the Ministry in improving federal roads, especially the Ekpoma stretch.
He said, “About one month ago, the Minister gave all four contractors and the two Federal Comptroller of Works in Edo and Kogi State a matching order to ensure that rehabilitation work is done on the old alignment as aggressive work is on-going in the four sessions of the Federal road.
Our focus is on the two alignments in the four sessions of the roads. The sessions include Lokoja-Okene; Okene-Auchi; Auchi-Ehor and Ehor-Benin. All the four sessions of the roads are receiving very aggressive work by the four contractors and Federal Comptroller”.
Oyetade disclosed that the minister after several meetings in the last two months, gave the directors in the four departments in the federal highway to deliver at least one alignment from Lokoja to Benin latest by June 2020.