Gov Abiodun's exemplary conduct over Ogun abandoned road projects - NIGERIAN NEWSORBIT


Tuesday, August 31, 2021

Gov Abiodun's exemplary conduct over Ogun abandoned road projects

By: Femi Olayinka

Road construction is one of the core fundamental amenities for promoting socio-economic development of any society. A timely completed road project has a special way of adding value to the wellbeing of the people. 

Apart from the fact that, its aesthetic such as, matrix road landscaping, median strips, pedestrian crossing with Zebra Stripes, traffic light at road intersections with universal colour codes, among others enhance the beauty of the city, it also ensure a boost in land value in the area, promotes safe driving and ensure motoring orderliness in traffic flow for all road users. It also promotes environmental hygiene in drainage through free flow of water, prevent erosion and attracts chain of all sorts of industrial development as well as boost healthy living.

Recent findings have revealed that some of the economic woes bedeviling Sub-Sahara Africa particularly, Nigeria, have been traced back to incessant road projects abandonment by successive government as well as poor road delivery with bloated cost, corrupt engineering practice among local contractors, poor road maintenance culture among others corporate misappropriation associated with the sector.

The long list of abandoned projects, that exists particularly at the expiration of tenure of a government in Nigeria, has pointed out a serious public concern that must be addressed in the drive towards prioritizing the wellbeing of the people. 

The issue of abandoned road projects often becomes pathetic as most of them later turn hazardous road trap that endanger the lives of people it intends to serve. 

Surreptitiously, it becomes a two edged sword cutting from both side by first turning the tax payers’ money to a complete waste and worsening the environmental condition of thousands of people living in the affected area. In spite of these reported cases of abandoned projects across the nation, Economic and Financial Crime Commission ( EFCC) has not been able to pick up anyone to serve as a deterrent.

Be that as it may, Ogun state like any other states has its shares and tales of various abandoned projects particularly on roads with varying pathetic narratives across the state.

Initially some dissenting views had thought that the present administration would not oblige to amend the projects due to the prevailing global economic challenges but today, most of the abandoned road projects across the state by the immediate past administration have not only been fixed but now in a state of completion. 

This singular choice of Gov Dapo Abiodun not to play politic with issues that has capacity to enhance the safety of the people and also boost the prosperity of the state has received applause and commendation from far and near. In fact, some have termed it a new normal, a worthy patriotic move that is worthy of commendation and emulation by all because the established norms in Nigeria is for a succeeding government not to see reasons to continue with the projects kicked off by its predecessor

Primarily, the focus on some of these abandoned road projects are to ensure economic growth, reduce associated road hazards and suffering of the people, restore public confidence in governance on electoral promises as well as promote their wellbeing.

According to Governor Abiodun’s remarks at one of the public functions in the state, he disclosed that his administration will fix and complete all inherited abandoned road projects that have economic values,  noting that these projects were funded with tax payers' money and therefore the people must be allowed to the benefits accruing from such projects.

Despite the lean resources of the state, amazingly within few months of assuming office, Gov. Dapo Abiodun ordered all the contractors handling some of these abandoned road back to site. 

For example, contractor handling the 8 kilometer Mowe –Ofada road reconstruction in Obafemi Owode  Local Government area of the state awarded by the immediate past administration of Governor Ibikunle Amosun in 2013 and abandoned by the contractor in 2018, were mobilized back to work.

Other road projectrs that were abandoned by the immediate past administration include; Panseke-Adigbe Road, Abeokuta – Sagamu – Interchange, Lafenwa – Rounda – Ayetoro Road, MKO Abiola Stadium Road to Kuto Bridge, were promptly fixed and completed by the present administration. Others like Adatan-Asero Road and Mowe-Ofada Road are currently under construction within a specified standard capable of improving the socio-economic expectation of the people in Ogun state.

As a matter of fact, the story of abandoned road project is the same in Ogun West, for instance, the Owode – Ilaro Road is currently under construction while Odo Afa Bridge is completed. Likewise in Ogun East Senatorial District, where the list of abandoned road projects stream down from Atan-Erunwon road to Ikangba – Lagos Garage – Ilese and Sagamu – Ode Lemo roads. Today all these roads are undergoing complete reconstruction work while the Ejirin – Oluwalogbon road network is completed.

There is no glory in uncompleted projects of any kind and no wonder there is wise saying that, the end of a thing is more glorious than  its beginning, The fact remains that, government at all levels should shun white elephant project that are characterized with speculative corrupt practices and inordinate wasteful execution. 

Experts opined that, a vision driven government should not only be cost effective in its project execution but also be conscious of timely completion of such projects within its tenure of office so as to deliver as at when due to achieve its set objective.

Without gain saying the fact that, lots of economium had been showered on the Governor Dapo Abiodun led administration for not only taken up all the inherited abandoned road project across the state as his liabilities but for noiselessly working round the clock to complete such legacy roads such Ijebu-Ode- Epe dualisation project, Fajol – American Junction, Abeokuta, Ofa-Ikola –Raypower road, Elite-Oke-Lantoro Road, Lusada –Free trade Zone Road amongst  others .

With all these bold moves, Gov Dapo Abiodun has no doubt been seen as an administrator with robust political will aimed at taking the state to the next level as undisputable investment destination of choice.

Although many have described Gov. Abiodun's administration as an epitome of good governance with principle of “talk and do “, but irrespective of this eulogy, some have urged the governor to be careful of embarking on multiple projects at a stretch that may not likely be completed or eventually become wasteful, abandoned project. 

It's also advisable that government at all levels should henceforth shun the pursuit of bogus project with no direct benefit to the people but ensure that their projects are blessing and people oriented such that they engender more prosperity for the people.

Olufemi Olayinka, Principal Information Officer writes from Ogun State.

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