By Kolawole Olayinka, Abeokuta
Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun has disclosed that N13billion is required to fix the failed portions of the Lagos- Ota-Abeokuta road in Sango-Ota, Ado-Odo/ Ota Local Government Area.
Abiodun disclosed this during a Town Hall meeting on 2022-2024 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and 2022 Budget for Ogun West Senatorial District, held at the Governor’s Office, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.
He noted that Sango-Ota was strategic to the state and the nation, and the residents cannot be left to suffer unnecessary hardship, stressing that the state government aimed at making the road motorable.
Abiodun said: “The issue is about funding. About N13 billion is needed to fix the failed portions of that road and the Federal Government is tinkering with Sukuk Bond.
“I have held several meetings with the Minister of Works where I proposed that, as a state, we will go ahead and take the loan of N13billion on your behalf, and make the money available to your contractor.
“However, we must constitute a tripartite agreement between us, yourself, Ministry of Finance that will tie the process of the bond back to a financial institution as a holding fund. That will harmonise our exposure.
“That is the ongoing discussion we are having and I am not sure whether there is any administration that can be more creative than that.
“I am particularly pained because some of the people who protested in the Local Government Area were in a meeting with me earlier this week or last week where we shared with them the constraints that we have as an administration and they understood with us.
“They saw clearly that this was not an act of wishful negligence on the part of our administration.”
The governor said construction work was ongoing at Ilaro- Owode-Idi-Iroko road in Yewa South, Oke Ola and Ago-Oshoffa road in Imeko Local Government, Oke Afa road and Agosasa bridge in Ipokia Local Government Area, Joju-Oju in Sango-Ota in Ado-Odo/ Ota Local Government Area, while 50 units of houses are being built at Ilaro and 130 units at Sango-Ota for medium-income earners.
He reiterated the government’s commitment to give the district the desired attention as the industrial hub of the state.
Abiodun said the state was waiting for the transfer of the Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta Expressway to the state for reconstruction, while the construction of the Ota- Idi-Iroko has been handed over to Mike Adenuga through Tax Credit Scheme and the construction of Sagamu Toll Gate-Papalanto- Ilaro road has also been awarded to Dangote through the same scheme.
He noted that Ogun West Senatorial District, apart from being a major outlet to the West African subregion, is the industrial engine room of the state as Agbara Industrial Estate is regarded as one of the largest in the Sub-saharan Africa with about 400 national and multi-national companies operating in the estate.
He said a TechHub, to complement that of Abeokuta would be set up in Ota, while a befitting Library would be in place in the area to cater for the teeming youth populace.
The governor while urging the people to be security cautious now that the dry season is setting in, however, assured the people of the Senatorial District of adequate security as security agencies in the State are on red alert to deal with any breach in the axis.
In his opening remarks, Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Hon. Olaolu Olabimtan said good financial management entails a budget that takes people’s aspirations into consideration, while the Commissioner for Finance, Mr. Dapo Okubadejo maintained that the Medium Term Expenditure Framework provides opportunity for future planning that focuses on important issues.
Contributing, the Olu of Ilaro, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle, lauded the government for its developmental stride.
He, however, complained about the slow pace of work on the ongoing construction of Ilaro-Owode road and appealed to the government to look into abandoned Ilaro-Ijoun-Ilara road.
The Olota of Ota, Oba Adeyemi Obalanlege, called for urgent attention to bye-pass and link roads, upgrade of Gateway Institute of Technology to a University, while a housing scheme should be sited in Ota to reduce the housing deficit in the town.