By Joseph Ayodele
The Federal Government on Monday reactivated the construction of the new Oyo-Ogbomoso expressway with the sum of N6 billion. the road, the second section of the Ibadan-Ilorin expressway, had been abandoned by past administrations.
The first section, Ibadan-Oyo axis and third section, Ogbomoso-Ilorin axis, had been completed several years ago.
The flag-off ceremony was performed by Gov. Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State at a ceremony attended by members of the National Assembly, top government officials and the Alaafin of Oyo, Oba Lamidi Adeyemi.
Mr Babatunde Fashola, the Minister of Works, Power and Housing, said the road project would be completed in compliance with the Federal Government ‘s specification.
Fashola, who was represented by Mr Anya Omoregbe, the Federal Controller of Works in Oyo State, said that the ministry would ensure that Nigerians got good value for their money.
In his speech, Alhaji Lai Mohammed, the Minister of Information, Culture and Tourism, said that the resumption of construction work on the road linking the western part of the country with the north was a watershed.
Mohammed, who was represented by Mrs Dolapo Dosunmu, the State Director, National Orientation Agency (NOA) in Oyo State, said the flag off was a confirmation of the reality of the transformation promised by the present administration in the country.
The minister recalled that the road had been abandoned by successive governments in the country, causing despair among the large number of its users.
Mohammed said that government would put in place an independent mechanism for monitoring the stage-by-stage advancement of the project to ensure prudent management of human and material resources.
Sen. Kabiru Gaya, the Chairman, Senate Committee on Works, said that some other roads in the state–old Oyo-Ogbomoso, Iseyin-Okeho, Akinmorin and Ibadan-Oyo—would be rehabilitated.
He said that the initial contractors for the Oyo-Ogbomoso road, PW Construction, would be summoned to explain the reasons for the shoddy job done.
Sen. Monsurat Sunmonu (APC-Oyo Central) commended President Muhammadu Buhari as well as Senate President Bukola Saraki and her colleagues for their support in making the road reactivation initiative a reality.
She said that the commencement of the project was a fulfilment of a promise the party made to the electorate during the electioneering campaign.
“During the campaign, resumption of work on this road was my focal point and the APC’s interaction with the electorate.“ This road passes through a number of the 11 local governments that I represent. Many voters pledged to vote for myself and the APC on the promise that work would resume on the road, having been neglected for some five years,” she said.
Mr Nader Yusuf, Deputy Managing Director, Reynolds Construction Company(RCC), which was awarded the project, said that the company had been in the country for 60 years. Yusuf, who assured of compliance with specification, added that quality had remained the company’s policy since its establishment.