Former governor of the defunct Western Region and late Ooni of Ife, Oba Adesoji Aderemi, was further immortalised saturday by the Osun State government with the commissioning of a N14.5billion East bypass road project in Osogbo, the state capital, named after the late monarch.
At the inauguration of the 18-kilometre project saturday, the state governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, noted that the major pre-occupation of the present administration is the improvement of socio-economic, infrastructural development and the well-being of the people.
He said this is why in the last two and a half years, his government has devoted attention to the modernisation of road infrastructure.
The governor said that road infrastructure is a crucial element of development effort of his administration to take the state to an enviable height.
Expressing gratitude to Aregbesola on behalf of the Adesoji royal family, Prince Aderohunmu Adesoji thanked the governor for immotarlising the late Western Region governor.
He described the project as unique, special and an historical landmark. He commended the governor for taking the bold step of recognising the achievement of Sir Adesoji Aderemi in the then Western Region and Nigeria as a whole.
“We thank the governor for taking this bold step no government in the past 22 years has taken.
“That we still have leaders like Aregbesola who remember heroes in this country is amazing. I assure you Mr. governor that this gesture of yours will encourage more people to serve their state and country selflessly. We are appreciative of what you have done,” Prince Aderemi said.
The road, according to the governor, could be referred to as circumferential highway, starting from the roundabout along Iwo road in Ibadan, passing through Ofatedo to Ataoja Grammar School, through Ilesa Road and terminating at Osogbo Stadium roundabout area.
The East bypass, as the road is known, is a dual carriageway that will be constructed to meet very high standards in modern road construction. It will be constructed with two asphaltic surface layers and 40mm binder with 30mm wearing.
The governor urged the construction company handling the project to stick to the agreed completion date and adhere strictly to the specified standards in the construction of the road and the bridges.
The project, according to the governor, will feature construction of new culverts , three river bridges, concrete side drainage and retaining walls, pavement surface and marking, construction of railway underpass, construction of interchange and provision of street light.
According to Aregbesola, bad roads have been a major bane of development efforts in the country which also explains why the roads in the state have suffered years of neglect under the previous governments. He said this is why his administration is investing enormous resources on roads projects in the state.
Aregbesola observed that when considering what is lost as a result of bad road in terms of human lives and valuable material resources, it is better to imagine what the people will stand to gain if and when roads are put in good shape.
He stated that the cost-benefit analysis has been a major driving force behind government’s commitment to modernise the road network in the state.
“The depth of our commitment to road transformation is evident in the fact that our state is now a massive road construction site. We are constructing, reconstructing and rehabilitating roads all over the state.
“Our ultimate aim is to make Osun a State that will have one of the best and most modern road infrastructure in the whole of the country, Aregbesola said.
While speaking on efforts of the government in rural areas where roads are being opened up, he stated that the gesture is key towards encouraging farming with a view to ensuring abundant food production and food security.
He emphasised that with greater road access, there is easy flow of input to the farms and smooth evacuation of farm produce to the markets.
The governor said the administration’s achievement in that regard has attracted attention beyond the country, with commendations from the World Bank for performance in the Rural Access Mobility Programme (RAMP).
For this, the global bank has included Osun in the four states selected for participation in RAMP II, which translates to opportunity for the State to access about $79 million (N12.64 billion) in World Bank/AFD credit, he said.
In his remark, the special adviser to the governor on Works and Transport, Eng. Sabitu Amuda, said the road is another gigantic project of the administration aimed at developing the state’s infrastructure.
It will be recalled that on June 10, a similar road project, Gbongan-Akoda Road , was flagged off and work has since commenced fully.
The road, awarded to a Nigerian-Turkish construction Company, Messrs Slava Yeditepe, costs N14.57 billion with a 12-month period of completion.
According to Amuda, apart from being a standard two-lane dual carriageway of 7.30m width, the road also such features walkway, lay-bys and bus stops, streetlights, road verges landscapes and traffic signs.
Mrs. Grace Omolori, who represented the Managing Director of the firm handling the project,Yeditepe, said his company was proud to be part of the achievements of Governor Aregbesola.
Why promising the government and people of Osun of speedy completion of the project, Omolori said the road will be constructed to world standard.
She remarked that by December, the first phase of the road would be opened to users, adding that the August 2014 date of the completion would be met.
She also noted that with the massive road constructions going on in the state Osun will soon be a reference point in infrastructure development in Nigeria.