Features: Akufo Road And Other Promises Under Fulfilment

Akufo Road And Other Promises Under Fulfilment

Modupe Taiwo

One of the ongoing road construction projects in Oyo State

Pliable roads make a crucial contribution to economic development and growth, while it also brings significant social benefits to the society.

A high-quality road network is essential not only for connecting key urban centers but for improving the connectivity of more isolated local communities for whom many public transport options are limited or not available. 

Apete-Awotan-Akufo road in Ido LG area is a 12killometer road connecting about 40 Communities and villages.
This road has been in bad shape for a long time and last received attention between 2007 and 2011, during the time of former Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala.

The road was also long characterized by neglect during the past administration of Governor Abiola Ajimobi, whom they described as having neglected the road for political revenge, as it was noted for being an area with anti-Ajimobi voters.
It is as big a problem for taxi drivers as it is for other road users.

Commercial drivers and motorcyclists are hardly seen at the Akufo end of the stretch, therefore, residents are often left to wait in the open for several hours before they get a means of transportation out of or to further mobe inside the town. 

Expanding crevasses by the roadside have also been reported to have led to the death of road users on multiple occasions, especially during the rainy seasons which made residents of Apete-Awotan-Akufo areas to have clamored for the reconstruction of the road for many years with no response from the Government, which has forced the Community into self-help on many occasions.

The same road also leads to the Akufo farm settlement, which the government of Engr Seyi Makinde hopes to transform into a farm estate this year.

It is however, a prayer answered for the Apete-Awotan-Akufo road users as Governor Seyi Makinde has finally come to their rescue by fixing the road for optimum use. 

The Governor paid a visit to the road back in 2019 with a promise to fix the road in no distant time.
The promise was kept, and construction works have since begun on the road. Residents of the community making use of the road are beginning to heave a sigh of relief, with the assurance that as soon as work is completed on the road, it will be a different story entirely. 

This is in relation with the Moniya/Iseyin road project which is another monumental achievement of the Seyi Makinde’s administration. The road is a 65 kilometers road which was contracted out during the past administration at a sum of N7bn, but nothing substantial was done on the road. The government of Seyi Makinde revoked the contract from the former handler and later re-awarded it to Kopek Construction Company at a sum of N9bn. According to the Governor, when it is completed, “the road would enhance the socio-economic development of the state, especially of the people of Oke-Ogun area. It will address the challenges of moving farm produce from Oke-Ogun axis to Ibadan, the state capital,” the governor stated.

The commitment of Governor Seyi Makinde’s administration to the total wellbeing of the State is second to none. You often find him saying “we are are not doing politics, we are serving the people” 
Recently, eight other road projects were approved by the State Government for immediate reconstruction and rehabilitation in all the five geopolitical zones of the State. Also the Seyi Makinde government launched “operation zero tolerance for potholes in the State” to ensure that all potholes are quickly fixed before the rain starts so as to ease traffic congestion often orchestrated by bad portions of the roads. 

Light prevails over darkness. This explains why the administration of Governor Seyi Makinde is so particular about lightening the streets of Oyo State, under the project code-named “Operation Light Up Oyo State.” 
During the flag off of the first phase of the “Light Up Oyo State Project”, Governor Makinde told the people that “the benefits accruable from the provision of standard and adequate infrastructures, particularly smart street lights, cannot be over-emphasised. It is indeed an essential component of our face-lifting and industrialisation programme.”

The project, which was one of the campaign promises of Governor Seyi Makinde, was flagged shortly after the assumption of office of Governor Seyi Makinde’s administration. It was contracted out at the sum of N1.772bn, involves the Smart Street light fittings across strategic routes in the whole of Oyo State, aimed at providing necessary illuminations at night for maximum security of lives and properties. 

The project also aims to position the State for socio-economic drives. This means that the nightlife of Ibadan City and the State as a whole will be rejigged.
A government is either a talking one or a performing one. 
The Seyi Makinde administration has done well by engaging these two, by promising and bringing it to reality. The promise by the Government to light up Oyo State was kept, and it is now being fulfilled.

Moving round the City of Ibadan in daylight, one could see the evidence of a working Government. Then at night, the story is not different as a city which once laid in darkness at dusk is now well lighted.

The street light project, under the supervision of the State Ministry of Public Works, Infrastructure and Transportation, though yet to be completed, as it is now moving to it it’s second phase, has started to put smiles on the faces of the people. Motorists in the State and people who make a daily living on the streets are witnesses to this. 

The second phase of the ” Light Up Oyo State Project” will spread across the five geopolitical zones of the State and it is expected to capture 70 roads.
The light comes up for twelve hours non-stop in a day. In places such as Iwo-road, UI-Ojoo, Tollgate, to mention but a few, where the lights are already working,  as soon as the lights  are up in the evening, you hear statements such as “Seyi e da,” ” Seyi n se nkan.” Such comments, as mentioned above and more, are credence to a performing Government. 
And here are perspectives of benefiting road users at Awotan-Road: one Olufemi Adebanjo said “This is a laudable and commendable achievement. After eight years of agony and discomfort. We shall never forget that this particular administration came to our rescue.”
Also, Gboyega Bolarinwa expressed his happiness by saying;” And one drunkard will come up and say GSM has not laid a block since he became the Governor. Too bad.”
On Moniya/Iseyin road, Mr. Semiu Alabede, a commercial driver on the road, commended the timely intervention of the State Government on the street, stressing that it will go a long way to ease the stress they face daily on the road.

We need to give support to a government that has been busy commiting the State’s meagre resources to provision for socioeconomic wellbeing of the populace as well as infrastructural renewal whenever such arises. 

Makinde is here to serve and has not done any other thing since he came on board than to serve.

Modupe Taiwo is the Media Officer attached to Oyo State Ministry of Works and Transport