Makinde’s Antidote to Ibadan’s traffic Congestion

The administration of Governor Seyi Makinde with execution of Junction Improvement Works has moved to change the narrative about traffic congestion in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, writes Kemi Olaitan

For residents of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, especially those plying areas such as Agodi Gate Junction, Civic Centre Junction, Idi-Ape Junction and Challenge/Felele Junction, challenges they faced daily include  the constant traffic congestion as well as deplorable internal road network such that passing through these areas was either in the morning or evening was becoming nightmarish. 

Thus when the state Commissioner for Public Works, Infrastructure and Transport, Prof. Dahud Shangodoyin, late in December last year after the state Executive Council Meeting presided over by Governor Seyi Makinde, announced that scores of the internal roads within the city would soon be reconstructed or rehabilitated could not but raised the expectation of the people that the government is prepared to bring them succour.

The waiting for what could be regarded as a game-changer was not to be long with the administration of Governor Makinde determined to continue to endear itself to the people went to work with the award of the roads to contractors and the results have been nothing but remarkable with once-infamous traffic bottlenecks now being transformed into smoothly flowing intersections. 

Indeed, one area of the ancient city where the governor could be said to have given lifeline to residents and visitors is the Agodi-Gate/Civic Centre/Idi Ape Junction Improvement Works handled by Planet Projects Limited and which was recently commissioned. A tour of this area could not but evoked a warm salutation for Governor Makinde if not for anything his exceptional leadership through an ambitious plan of enhancing connectivity and reducing traffic congestion. 

The Managing Director of Planet Projects Limited, Engineer Biodun Otunola, while speaking at the commissioning, lauded Governor Makinde for having a foresight of a new Ibadan that would be a source of envy for other state capitals in the country. According to him, the Agodi Gate part of the project was a refuse dump when they moved to site with over 100 trucks of refuse evacuated.

He said, “What we are doing today is a new vision, new era in Oyo State under the agenda of Governor Seyi Makinde and I am proud to say that this is the new Ibadan we all look forward to.

“We have been able to take care of the interest of everybody with the Agodi-Gate part as we have close to 1,000 stalls for the traders, and there is provision for okada riders and other transporters.”

The Commissioner for Public Works, Infrastructure and Transport, Prof.  Shangodoyin, in his remarks, disclosed that the Junction Improvement Works included traffic system management as well as provision of car park, bus shelters, lock up shops and stalls.

Governor Makinde in his address, noted that the Agodi-Gate/Civic Centre/Idi Ape Junction Improvement projects, will reduce the number of man-hours spent by residents commuting roads in the city, added that it would also ease traffic flow and contribute to boosting commercial activities in the axis, just as it would help the government to enforce the rule of law regarding street trading and orderliness in the city.

Makinde, who spoke to the admiration of jubilant market men and women, disclosed that 700 street traders displaced by the project will be given free stalls in the new market built, stating that three new Junction Improvement Projects would come up at UI-Agbowo, Polytechnic Road-Sango and Eleyele Junction.

According to him, the delivery of the Junction Improvement Projects also activated another component in his Oyo State Roadmap to Sustainable Development, 2023-2027, which has to do with the rule of law and orderliness in the society.

He appreciated his Anambra State counterpart, Prof. Charles Chukwuma Soludo, for being part of the commissioning, stating that his presence in Ibadan showed that it was time to work together at this period in the life of the country rather than looking for what could divide the people.

According to him, “As you have already seen from the available visual, we are commissioning these three junction improvement works at Agodi Gate, Civic Centre and Idi Ape. These are important projects that will reduce the man-hours spent in traffic in Ibadan.

“Let me also announce that another three are coming to Ibadan: U.I Junction is coming; Poly Road Junction is coming; and Eleyele Junction is also coming.

“More importantly, by completing and commissioning this project, we are making a clear statement and those of you in Ibadan would have been aware of the chaos this place used to be. With this project, we are bringing sanity to this axis.

“So, it is significant in our quest to implement another component in our Oyo State Roadmap for Sustainable Development 2023-2027, and that is the rule of law.

“The shops that are here are for those trading by the side of the road, and they will be given free of charge. Nobody will collect one Naira from you. This means 700 of you will be moving out of the street into this place. So, we thank God.

“We can see how beautiful this environment is now and our plan is to keep it that way. Street trading and illegal dumping of refuse at road medians are two uncivil acts we must do away with as citizens.

“I have given a directive that anyone found carrying out such activities in this area should face the full wrath of the law.

“As we celebrate this accomplishment, I vow to do more for our people because it is our belief that you will reciprocate by protecting this project.”

A private car owner who has been plying the Agodi-Gate/Civic Centre/Idi Ape Junction area since it was commissioned, Mr. Biodun Olajide, lauded Governor Makinde, for bringing great relief to not only traders but also commuters who spent hours on the road because of traffic congestion. 

His words, “It would not be out of place to state that the present administration in Oyo State under the leadership of Governor Seyi Makinde has invested in extensive junction improvement works thereby displaying a commitment to creating a sustainable environment, while enhancing the overall quality of life for residents.

“Without any fear of contradiction, the bold move by the governor is a testament to his visionary approach to governance. Before the improvement work on Agodi Gate Junction, regular users of this road would recall that it has always been problematic with a very large spare market and correctional centre here.

“Also, roadside traders are many here. They would display their wares on the road to the extent that it would be difficult for vehicles to move. So, God bless Governor Makinde for improving Agodi Gate Junctions with the expansion and traffic light. It is also important to thank the contractor, Planet Projects Limited for a job well done. 

“The governor has done a good job at the Junction of Ibadan Civic Centre in Idi-Ape as well as the main Idi-Ape Junction. The road expansions in the two junctions and the complements of the traffic lights are highly commendable.”

On his part, a commercial driver plying Mokola to Iwo Road , Rasheed Akintunde, while speaking in the same vein, lamented the deplorable condition of the Idi Ape-Civic Centre-Agodi Junction often caused traffic gridlock, noting that Planet Projects has brought great relief to commuters with a quality job. 

“I sincerely want to appreciate the present government of Governor Makinde because we have never had it so good. The deplorable state of the road affected us greatly but today we are happy that we are enjoying a motorable road with what Planet Projects did”, he said. 

One of the traders, Mrs. Busayo Lambe, while expressing optimism that she would be part of those promised free stall by Governor Makinde, said the environment has become one that anybody could be happy to be part of, maintained that the Agodi-Gate/Civic Centre/Idi Ape Junction Improvement Works could not but attract businesses, investors, and industries and leading to increased job opportunities and economic growth in the city for sustainable development and prosperity.

“The quality job put in place by the contractor would certainly lead to residents witnessing the rise of a more progressive, sustainable, and prosperous city courtesy of Governor Seyi Makinde”, she said.

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