Oyo State governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, has declared that the 48 kilometres Ido-Eruwa Road, which he flagged off in Eruwa, on Wednesday, has a great economic importance to Ibarapaland and Oyo State in general.
He noted that the planned reconstruction of the road is in sync with the infrastructure blueprint being executed by his administration since he assumed office 44 months.
The governor stated this on Wednesday, at the flag off of the road, noting that the project is the only missing link left in his effort to link all the five geopolitical zones of the state.
The administration, he said has already successfully linked Ibadan to Oke Ogun, Oke Ogun to Oyo, Oke Ogun to Ogbomoso and Ibarapa to Oke Ogun, leaving only Ibarapa to Ibadan to be linked.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, on behalf of the Media Committee of the governor’s re-election campaign council, quoted the governor as saying that once the Ido-Eruwa Road, which is expected to be completed in 12 months, is completed, his administration would have succeeded in linking all the entire zones in Oyo State together.
The governor, who spoke at different other campaign points, including separate meetings with the traditional council in Ibarapa East, the Eruwa and Lanlate Elders, the League of Imams and Alfas, the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) and at campaign podiums at Maya, Lanlate and Eruwa, also maintained that his administration has laid the foundation for the economic prosperity of the state.
While speaking at the flag-off of the road project, which was attended by the Eruwa Traditional Council, the Olu of Igbo-Ora, the Onidere of Idere and Eruwa Elders’ Council, among others, the governor said: “The economic importance of this 48 kilometre stretch of road can’t be over-emphasised.
“If you look at the infrastructural blueprint of Oyo State, we promised to take our people from poverty to prosperity but we have to lay the foundation for it. And the major foundation is to link together all the zones we have in the state.
“We already started by linking Ibadan to Oke-Ogun. We have broken the back of the Oyo to Oke-Ogun zone project, which is still ongoing. We have started linking Ogbomoso to Iseyin as well. You know, Ibarapaland straddles Oke-Ogun and Ibadan zones. The linkage between Oke-Ogun from Iganna to Igangan to Tapa, Aiyete, Idere to Igbo-Ora, the work is ongoing right now as they have attained up to 60 per cent of that work.
“So, the only missing link is the one we are flagging off today, which is the link to Ibarapa with Ibadan zones. Once this is done, it means we have achieved success in linking all the entire zones in Oyo State together and the foundation for economic prosperity is laid.
“Well, this project is not new as different governments have promised to carry out the 48 kilometres stretch of road project. From 2007 to 2011, they wanted to do it but did not achieve it.
“The administration that came after then also attempted to do it but their plan was very bad towards the project because they awarded the contract to a supposed Chinese Company for N10.3bn and paid themselves N6.1bn before we came in.
“But when we investigated, we discovered the project was a pure scam because they gave the project to their people not Chinese company.
“When we came in, we intervened and I can tell you that the money they are owing the state will be collected back from them inasmuch as I am still the Executive Governor of the state.”
The governor, who assured that the road project, when completed, will stand the test of time, added: “All the roads we have been constructing will stand the test of time because those handling them gave me guarantee of 20 years. “We don’t just do things anyhow. The company we gave this project to, HFC Engineering, is reputable as an international company run by local people. The work has to be done to specification and within time as well.
“They gave us ultimatum of 12 months for the completion of the project. So, by this time next year, I will be here to commission the road.”
He directed the company to ensure that it recruits local people to work with it on the project.
Earlier, the Asiwaju of Eruwa, Chief Olatunji Fadairo, appreciated the governor for flagging off the Ido-Eruwa Road, noting that the governor is not strange to Eruwa and that the people of the community would support his re-election so that he can complete the good works he started.
He appreciated the works done by the Makinde administration in Oyo State and especially Ibarapaland, including the peace and order being enjoyed by the people, the Light-Up Oyo project; the rehabilitation of New Eruwa-Lanlate-Maya Road and the Lanlate Bridge that caved in Lanlate and which the government urgently fixed.
Chief Fadairo, however, assured the governor that he would win in Eruwa and Lanlate as he has always done, because the people would support him.
He urged the governor to under Omituntun 2.0, look into certain issues including returning the cashew plantation in Eruwa to the community, the completion of Isaba-Ogundoyin and other internal roads Eruwa’s internal roads as well as the planned upgrade of the Eruwa General Hospital to a State Hospital that will serve the seven Ibarapa communities.
He added that after the government completes the upgrade of Fashola Farm Estate to an Agribusiness Industrial Hub, it should move to the Eruwa Farm Settlement.
Similarly, a chieftain of the PDP in Eruwa, Chief Adewale Atanda popularly known as Alashe, appreciated the governor and also assured him of Ibarapa people’s support for him and all candidates of the PDP in the February 25 and March 11 elections.
In his response, the governor said he would work on all the demands of the community, adding that the issue of farm settlement will also be given prompt attention once the Fashola project is completed.
He said: “Concerning the farm settlement, it will be addressed very quickly too because of the lessons we have learnt about the handling of Fashola.
“We have part of the money in the bank to carry out the project but I told them that I want to see the outcome of that of Fashola before we bring them down here fully. And I think we are in a comfortable position to move in here now.”
Governor Makinde while addressing the Eruwa and Lanlate Elders Council at the Damola Event Centre, Eruwa, said his administration has been able to do most of the things he promised the people in 2019.
He stated that when he was seeking election as governor in 2019, over 200,000 Oyo State children were out of school and he realized that one of the major factors responsible for that number is the payment of N3,000 education levy, lack of human capacity and lack of education infrastructure.
So far, he said, he has reduced the infrastructure deficit in schools by building about 70 model schools, hundreds of blocks of classrooms and also stopped the payment of the N3,000 levy apart from distributing textbooks and notebooks to all students.
He added that he has also been able to put in place affordable healthcare delivery service through the building of close to 260 PHCs out of 351 in all electoral wards of the state.
On security, he noted that he created Amotekun Corps and had also been supporting the federal security agencies so that they could perform optimally.
The governor, who also addressed party members at massive rallies in Maya, Lanlate and Eruwa, said that the state will enjoy greater things under Omituntun 2.0, as he called on voters to re-elect him, Chief Olasunkanmi Tegbe as Oyo South senator, Hon. Yemi Taiwo for Ibarapa East/Ido Federal Constituency and the Speaker, Oyo State House of Assembly, Hon. Adebo Ogundoyin, as member representing Ibarapa East state Constituency.