By Adekola Afolabi
Massive infrastructure development is one of the major policy thrusts in line with the Second Term REDEEMED Agenda of the Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu led administration in Ondo state. To the first citizen in the state, adequate infrastructural development is sine-qua-non to the establishment of sustainable industries and entrepreneurship development in any society.
Matching his words with actions, in the past five years of his administration in the Sunshine State, Akeredolu led administration has changed the narratives of huge Infrastructural deficit through his aggressive road projects. All the three Senatorial Districts of the state have benefited from the ubiquitous life-changing projects.
Under the present government, Ondo State has literally become a great construction site, the development which has made many people refer to the Governor as ‘Mr Road’.
As at the last count, the present administration led by Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, SAN, within the last five years, has constructed over 300 kilometres of roads across the state. This is even as another 100 kilometres road projects are currently ongoing and at various stages of completion, the feat that no successive government in the history of the Sunshine State has achieved. All these are geared towards bringing dividends of good governance to the people wherever they live.
To actualise his lofty aims and objectives in terms of provision of quality and long lasting roads for the benefit of the citizenry and improved social and economic development of the state, Akeredolu put a round peg in a round hole by appointing an astute Engineer, Raimi Aminu, as commissioner for Infrastructure, Lands and Housing. Ever since he has been at the helm of affairs in the Ministry, Engr. Raimi Aminu, is working round the clock to ensure the vision of his boss is achieved.
From the Northern Senatorial District to the Southern Senatorial District and back to the Central, the seat of power, no local government area has not felt the Midas touch of the APC led administration, despite the little resources at the disposal of the government.
The massive road infrastructure projects of the Akeredolu led administration has been greatly appreciated by residents across the three Senatorial Districts of the state. The laudable project has equally opened up many hitherto neglected rural roads, thereby reducing the huge burdens usually encountered by farmers in transporting their farm produce to towns and markets.
During the inspection tour of road projects across the state, there was palpable joy and excitement in the faces of the people who hitherto, had not felt the presence of government in their localities. The inspection team led by Engr Raimi Aminu and other certified engineers from the ministry took their time to tour all the projects across the length and breadth of the state to ensure quality jobs were done by various contractors handling different projects.
One would not be surprised by the rousing welcomes from both the traditional rulers, opinion and community leaders and the residents alike, in all the project sites visited. They thumbed up Governor Akeredolu for fulfilling his promises to them, even as they described him as an uncommon leader who stands out among his peers. The people also appreciated the Commissioner for Infrastructure, Lands and Housing, Engr Raimi Aminu, for his good work to ensure all roads are of good quality and stand the test of time.
Some community leaders while commending governor Akeredolu over the completed nine kilometres Ikaramu-Akunnu Akoko road project in Akoko North-East Local Government, explained that plying the road which links the Northern Senatorial District of the state to the Northern part of the country had become a nightmare. According to them, its deplorable state had given kidnappers and other criminal elements opportunity to kidnap and rub their victims before the governor’s intervention.
The community leaders who included Aderingboye Adedayo, Segun Akinola and Olukoju Olumide specially thanked the governor for fulfilling the promise made to them. They said when the governor visited the community prior to the 2020 governorship election and promised to construct the road, they did not believe him. The people who could not hide their joy said the governor’s intervention has restored their hope and given them sense of belonging.
The residents described Akeredolu as a tested and credible leader who keeps his words, adding that the road project would greatly improve social and economic activities in the community and its environs.
It was a moving story in Ikaro community in Ose Local Government Area, as the residents welcomed the first township road to be asphalted in the ancient community. The 1.7km road was a beautiful scene to behold as residents showered encomiums on the governor and Aminu for doing what past governments had failed to do for them.
The Baale of Oma Camp, a suburb of Ikaro community, Ayodele Adu and other residents explained that the road is the first township road that has ever been constructed and tarred by any government in the history of the ancient community. They expressed their heartfelt gratitude to the present administration led by Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu for remembering them and for doing what successive governments and governors had failed to do to alleviate their long suffering.
“In fact, we have never had it so good. This is the second time we are seeing tarred road in this community apart from the main/federal road. This is the first township road that will be tarred in this community and we all appreciate our dear governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, for doing this for us. We were told this road had been awarded for years but we thank God this government brought it to limelight. Before, whenever it rained nobody could pass this road but thank God now the story has changed.This is the major road to our farms. We can now transport our farm produce easily to the markets”, Baale of Oma Camp said.
Other residents of Ikaro community including, Pastor Michael Tosin; a retired civil servant, Mrs Ogedengbe Adenike, and a youth leader, Sunday Idowu, explained that the road was not accessible before until government’s intervention, just as they appreciated Governor Akeredolu for his approach to governance. To them, the project is a beginning of a new thing in the community.
“This road was so bad and rough before but we thank our dear Arakunrin Akeredolu for what he is doing in Ikaro community now, and we are asking for more”, Pastor Tosin added.
A retired civil servant, Mrs Ogedengbe Adenike noted that, “this road was not motorable before. We used to park our vehicles somewhere else and we would trek because the road was not motorable. But now we are very happy that our Governor has put an end to our suffering”.
Also, the Secretary, Ose Local Government, Mr Folorunsho Omage, explained that the people of the community have never experienced such a project before.
“We have been having governments and governors but the present Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu is exceptional. We have never felt the importance of governance in this Ikaro community before. This road leads to Sugarcane factory that is ongoing in this community, and many other farms. This road is going to facilitate so many things including smooth transportation of farm produce to the markets. So we are really grateful to our Governor for this”, he said.
Other personalities who commended Governor Akeredolu’s giant strides in road infrastructure include a former Secretary to the Old Ondo State Government and resident of Ijapo estate, Mr. Reuben Omolorun-Modupe; the Iralepo of Isinkan, Oba Oluwagbemiga Ojo; the Asewe of Gaga Community, Chief Oluwole Omotosho and Chairman, Ondo State Agricultural Commodities’ Association (OSACA), Olugbenga Obawaya.
Omolorun-Modupe who expressed satisfaction with Governor Akeredolu’s revolution on road construction in the state lauded the quality and pace of the project. The elder statesman particularly thanked the government of Governor Akeredolu for achieving the mileage in road construction despite having less fund at his disposal than previous governments.
About 10km network of roads have been constructed in Ijapo Estate. These include: Imade road; Mapayi/ikere road; Ilemo road; Akoko Avenue; Gboluji road; Ado Road; Access Road to Akoko avenue; Ilaje Avenue; Ode Avenue and Fajuyi road. This is even as the substantial part of the roads in Modulore, Dalimo, Omuo and Kola Ogunmola areas of Ijapo in Akure have been completed.
Commenting on Modulore road, Omolorun-Modupe said, “This road was not good before. It was a disaster. But not anymore. We are on the other side of lease. Beautiful roads we drive now. From Owo road to Modulore. Everyone here now is happy. We have eminent people on this street who had served in various governments. We have former Justice; former Chief Judge; retired Permanent Secretary. A lot of us here.
I have been in this place for two or three days now. I just got back from America. And I see the amount of work, grading, vibrating and compaction and all. So, it’s not just half done job. It is a job properly done and we are impressed.
“I can tell you that this regime of Oluwarotimi Akeredolu has scored very wonderfully well in infrastructure, especially in road construction. Everywhere you go, you can see evidence. I went to my village and I had a smooth drive back home. Everywhere has changed. Akeredolu is really doing a lot in the state.
“I served 37years in government, I served four military Governors. I was three times Permanent Secretary at the ministry of works. So, when we talk about road construction, we know what we are saying. And when we talk about governments and comparison, we know what we are talking about. You are doing your best especially because of one thing; you don’t have money. There was a time when there was money”, the elder statesman said.
The Iralepo of Isinkan, Oba Oluwagbemiga Ojo described the governor’s efforts in road construction as unprecedented, saying the laudable feat has reduced to suffering of the people and contributed greatly to the economic development in the state capital and its environs.
“You can see this all over the State capital and the 11 Wards that make up Akure South Local Government. Let me start from my own domain here, at Ward 3, Okeogba, we all saw what he did there. If you pass through Agagu road going towards Ilesha Garage, you turn left and see the expanse of road that the Governor has constructed there for the benefit of everybody. Go and see Gaga community, it is unprecedented. Look at what he is doing in Ijoka road, look at what he is doing in Oda road. What the governor has done across Akure metropolis, in fact, I’m amazed and it is marvelous in out eyes. Mr Governor has done so much in Akure South Local Government.
“We now have alternative road from Ijoka to Idanre. This has never happened before. Look at the network of roads constructed in Ijapo estate, look at Alagbaka and many other areas. Look at the quality of jobs done which will make the projects last long. We are all happy and excited to see this high level of Infrastructural development in Akure alone. All these road projects have contributed greatly to the improvement of socioeconomic status of Akure and all the affected areas. It has contributed to jobs creation. More people are building houses, and bricklayers, carpenters, welders, plumbers, tilers and painters are engaged to work, and you can see the multiplier effects. All these are contributing to economy of the state.
“Also, those inter-roads that lead to the farms will help our farmers to bring their farm produce to the markets and towns easily for sales, and with this, we will have enough food and wastage will reduce. So, we are happy that Governor Akeredolu is giving the people of the state dividends of good governance and we are happy for that. It is our prayer that God should give him more strength to do more for the state. We also request that Mr Governor should help us look into the road that connects Adebowale, Ago Lisa, Amudipe, Akobo, Ita-Oniyan and Aladodo with Aponmu. We are are grateful to Mr Governor”, the monarch said.
On his part, the Chairman, Ondo State Agricultural Commodities’ Association (OSACA), Olugbenga Obawaya, appreciated Governor Akeredolu for various interventions to ensure rural access roads and increased food production.
“I must say we appreciate the efforts of the current administration because a number of things have been done to improve Agric business in Ondo state and to lay foundations for a bright harvest from agric business in a few years to come. One can recall a great project like Red Gold project, the establishment of Cocoa Council and several others in Agricultural development. We have also informed Mr Governor on the need to urgently attend to and focus more on rural roads development, and we are pleased that Mr Governor in conjunction with the 18 Local Government Areas, made provision for 18 graders, one per local government, to improve the road network which we also believe will include rural roads, the arterial roads in various Local Government Areas that lead to our farms where we do agricultural business.
“We give kudos to Mr Governor for that. We also believe other intervention like RAMP would also ensure massive road rehabilitation. Mr Governor has promised that by the dry season of this year 2022 there will a lot of difference in terms of improvement of rural road network. Apart from government interventions, we too are not sitting down and wait for government alone. We are also trying on annual basis to grade our rural roads or put rubble to make those roads accessible. But greater intervention is still necessary and we look forward to Mr Governor to ensure food security in our state”, he added.
Also, speaking, the Asewe of Gaga Community in Akure South Local Government Area, Chief Oluwole Omotosho, who explained that Gaga Community is one of the beneficiaries of the governor’s aggressive Infrastructural projects, added that the densely populated community had earlier been abandoned by many house owners in the community due to deplorable state of the road.
He, however, stressed Akeredolu has put an end to the long suffering of the people by constructing the road when it was least expected.
“All landlords and landladies who earlier left their houses have since returned while more other houses and shops are being built by the people for rentage. The road network has opened up economic opportunity in the areas as more people are now relocating to the areas. So, I want to appreciate Mr Governor once again for the road projects not only in Gaga Community but the entire state. If you come to Gaga now you will see a lot of economic activities going on there and our people are happy”, the Chief stressed.
But in all, Engr Aminu advised the people in the affected towns and communities to take ownership of the projects and ensure proper use to serve its purpose.
The Commissioner disclosed that all the road projects being executed by the present administration were being constructed to standard and specifications, and would stand the test of time. He explained that the road projects spread across the three Senatorial Districts of the state were parts of the infrastructural drives of the governor to boost socio-economic activities.
According to Aminu, the projects were in fulfillment of Governor Akeredolu’s promises to the people to further make lives more meaningful to them. He particularly appreciated Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu for being a visionary leader and for keeping his promises to the people of the state.
Speaking recently at a forum, Governor Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, popularly called ‘Mr Talk and Do’, lent credence to his success stories, saying “we have taken infrastructural development, establishment of sustainable industries and entrepreneurship as one of our major policy thrusts in line with our Second Term REDEEMED programme”.
The man at the centre of the sterling achievements who added that “adequate infrastructural development is sine-qua-non to the establishment of sustainable industries and entrepreneurship development in any society. This informed our decision to embark on massive infrastructural development across the three senatorial districts of the State. Under our watch, Ondo State has literally become a great construction site, I want to assure you all that we will not depart from this path of progress and development”.
Leave a Reply