The Federal Government (FG) says every geo-political zone is benefiting from the ongoing road projects across the country.
File: Sections of Enugu-Onitsha road under reconstruction
Mr Funsho Adebiyi, Director, Highways, Southwest, Federal Ministry of Works, Power and Housing, said this on Saturday in Ibadan while addressing newsmen after an inspection tour of Federal roads across the Southwest states.
Adebiyi refuted insinuations that the Presidency was paying more attention to roads in the Northern region than the Southern states.
“The government spreads out road projects in such a way that no zone has been left out.
”Sukuk bond and other funds made available for road projects were shared equally among the six geo-political zones, but differences in topography, soil condition and other things in the North and South make it look as if government is constructing more roads in the Northern zone.
”For instance, funds that can be expended on 100 kilometers road in places like Borno or Kastina may not complete 10 or 15 kilometers in Bayelsa state,” he said.
According to him, every state in the southwest presently has the presence of the federal government as regards road rehabilitation and construction of new ones.
“Infact, the entire country has never had it so good in the area of road infrastructure.
”Among the ongoing road projects are Lagos -Ibadan sections I and II, handled by Julius Berger Construction “Company and Reynolds Construction Company (RCC), respectively.
“Others are the new Oyo – Ogbomosho road dualisation, being handled by RCC, and the Ogbomosho -Oko-Osogbo road, being handled by Dutum Construction company.
”We still have the Ila Orangun -Ora-Ilale – Ekan Meje road; Efon Alaaye – Erinmo – Iwaraja road; Ibadan -Abeokuta road, handled by Kopek Construction Company, and the Shagamu – Ore road, handled by RCC,” he said.
The Highway Director said the level of work done so far on the roads inspected were of high quality and capable of standing the test of time.
On the Lagos -Ibadan road, Adebiyi said that government had set aside a dedicated fund that would finish the road, assuring motorists plying the road that the ongoing construction work would no longer suffer delay.
He attributed the past delay to inadequate funding of the road project by previous administration and that government needed to take extra measures to ensure quality service delivery on the road.
He implored road users to always obey traffic laws and regulations, saying overloading and other traffic offences reduce lifespan of roads.
He also warned residents of communities along roads to desist from drying farm products on such roads.
Adebiyi reiterated the commitment of the present administration towards construction of roads, rehabilitation of existing roads needing repairs, and the completion of abandoned road projects awarded by the previous administration.
Some of the residents who spoke with newsmen during the inspection, lauded the efforts of government in making roads motorable across the country.
Mr Wasiu Bello, a commercial motorcyclist and Mr Saheed Jimoh, a truck driver, both plying the Ila Orangun -Ekan Meje road in Osun State, said the ongoing road rehabilitation was gradually enhancing their transport business.
According to them, they now spend less hours on the road.
The duo, however, urged contractors handling the road passing through agricultural areas linking Osun with Kwara and Ekiti to complete the job on time.
Also, some residents of Araromi community along the Efon Aalaye, Iwaraja in Ekiti State, narrated their ordeals as a result of the bad road before the federal government’s intervention.
Mr Sunday Ogunleye said they lived in fear at night due to incessant accidents on the road as drivers attempt to dodge potholes, but end up ramming into the village buildings.
Ogunleye, however, expressed gratitute to the government for the rehabilitation of the bad portions of the road, saying there was no more accidents.
”Instead, more vehicles now ply the road and our wives that sell by road sides now make more money,” he said.
Mr Abraham Oyewole and Ikuomola Olatunji, drivers plying the Shagamu -Ore road, described the experience on the road before as frustrating and dehumanizing, but confirmed that things had improved since construction work started.
Olatunji said that a trip from Ijebu to Ilaje town now take one hour, unlike when he used to spend two hours or more due to deplorable condition of the road.