By Adeola Badru
The Oyo State Controller of Works of the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Mr Kayode Ibrahim, has disclosed that completion of the ongoing 52 kilometer Oyo-Ogbomoso highway project is on course.
He made this disclosure on Wednesday in Ibadan, while speaking with newsmen, on the level of completion of Federal Government road projects in the state.
Vanguard recalled that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) on Nov 4, 2020, approved the augmentation of the road initial contract sum from N47.504 billion to N105.041 billion.
The changes in the prices were as a result of the adjustment of some things in the scope of work, the thickness of the pavement from 500mm to 560mm, change the asphalt to polymer-modified bitumen, and also the shoulders from surface dressing to fully asphalted inside and outside shoulder of the road.
The controller said the road project which had been awarded to Reynolds Construction Company since 2010 would experience speedy completion soonest.
According to him, the administration of President Mohammadu Buhari is committed to the completion of the road and other road projects across the country.
He said: “Works never stopped on the road, while we were waiting for augmentation because SUKUK funding was on the project.”
“Extensive works were ongoing on the bridges, the interchange at the entrance of Oyo town and earthworks generally are continuously ongoing.”
Ibrahim who put the level of completion of the road project at 79 per cent based on the old contract, hinted the approval for the augmentation would fastrack the project completion.
On the project’s completion date, the controller said the Ministry at the headquarters in Abuja, “will work out timeline for the project completion once details of the augementation get to the Ministry.”
The state controller further revealed that work had started gradually on Ibadan- Ilesha dual carriage way reconstruction project.
He recalled that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) had on September 25, 2019 approved the reconstruction of the expressway which covers distance of 112 kilometres, at a cost of N79 billion.
According to him, palliative work is ongoing at the kilometer 7 of the road where a culvert is being constructed to address the flooding challenges in that portion of the road.
“Government is also mindful of this coming festive period and has mandated the contractor – KOPEK Construction, handling the reconstruction of the road to carry out general palliative work on the road, from Ibadan to Ilesha.”
He noted that the palliative work on the road would enhance smooth vehicular movement on the road during the festive period, stressing that, Ibadan-Ilesha road was a major route for travellers going to Ekiti, Ondo, Kogi, Abuja, and Northern parts of the country.
He implored motorists plying the road to embracing patience and caution, particularly when approaching construction zones.
The Controller further disclosed that palliative work on Iseyin-Oyo road would commence this week and that major contract work on the road was slated for 2021, saying the project has been captured in the 2021 budget.
“Hopefully the National Assembly will give approval for the contract; before then, the Honourable Minister, Mr. Raji Fashola, has graciously approved palliative work on the road to ease the challenge facing the road users.
Ibrahim also notified the general public to desist from developing illegal structures within the right-of-way of Federal roads.
He described the right-of-way as space on both sides of Federal roads covering 45.72 meters on either side of the road centre line.
He directed owners of any structure within the right-of-way of Federal roads across the state to remove such structures, threatened that failure to comply with the ministry directive would lead to the demolition of such structures.
According to him, the Ministry of Works and Housing is concerned over the development of commercial structures, especially filling stations, within the right-of-way of Federal roads and bridges across the country.
“The development is not only illegal but creates unsafe conditions for road users and the public.”
“Several accidents leading to loss of lives and property with negative socio-economic consequences to the nation have occurred within some of these locations.”
“The illegal development impedes the development, management, and maintenance of Federal roads, as the structures and the activities they generate create unsafe conditions.
“These unathorised structures within the right-of-way also eliminate safety buffers and diversion which are needed during road works.”
“Furthermore, some of the structures defaced the environment and create public health challenges,” the controller stated.