By Adeola Badru
The South-West Zonal Director, Highways, Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Mr Adedamola Kuti, has disclosed that the giant stride being recorded in road infrastructure across the country would enhance the nation’s socio-economic development, apart from making vehicular movement smooth.
He made this assertion on Friday in Oyo Town, while addressing newsmen after a day inspection tour of two Federal Road projects in the state.
Kuti was accompanied by two state Controllers of Works, Mr Kayode Ibrahim (Oyo State) and his Osun counterpart, Mr Orisaleye Ayodeji, during the inspection.
The projects inspected were the ongoing reconstruction of 108 kilometres of Ibadan – Ilesa dual carriageway and the 52 kilometres Oyo – Ogbomoso dual carriageway.
Kuti said: “The two roads inspected are very strategic in the South-West because both link the entire traffic from Lagos to Ibadan and to people going to the Northern part of the country en route Ilesa – Akure or Oyo-Ogbomoso-Ilorin route.”
“These roads are very vital to the socio-economic development of the country, as we all know that the country basically depends on roads as major means of transportation.”
“When these projects are completed, travelling time is going to be reduced drastically; also cost of vehicles maintenance will go down, because there won’t be bad portions and commercial activities will be definitely improved along the roads’ corridor.”
On Oyo-Ogbomoso Road, the Highway director explained that the road was the second section of Ibadan-Ilorin Road and a subsection of major trunk A1 Road, originating from Apapa Wharf in Lagos to be terminated at Sokoto.
He said the dual carriageway, being handled by Reynolds Construction Company (RCC) had been placed under the Federal Government Road Infrastructure and Refreshment Tax Credit Scheme.
“With this arrangement, NNPC is now funding the project and had fully mobilised the contractor, RCC.”
“The project, which is at 50 per cent completion stage, is expected to be completed before the end of 2023,” Kuti said.
On 108 kilometres Ibadan- Ile-Ife-Ilesa Road, Kuti said the project was awarded to Kopek Construction Company in 2020.
“But work could not take off properly as a result of COVID-19 and challenges of funding.”
“Right now, the project has been placed under SUKUZ; so, we have some allocations to it,” the director said.
While expressing satisfaction with the progress of work done so far on the road, Kuti said it is of high quality and can stand test of time, hoping that the contractor would continue with that tempo.
“In another less than 36 months, we should be through with this project, if the level of funding continue on that tempo,” he said.
The director urged the media to do more in letting Nigerians know about the infrastructure development projects being carried out by the present administration.
He said that no previous administration had prioritised road infrastructure development like the present government.
Also, the Controller of Works in Oyo State, said the state was well captured in the road infrastructure development of the current administration, adding that many federal roads within the state were now receiving adequate attention.
Ibrahim said the two roads being inspected were among many others that were at various stages of completion in the state.
In their separate remarks, the Project Managers of Kopek Construction Company and RCC, Pascal Harfouch and Israel Yakov respectively, promised to deliver quality jobs.
They confirmed that Federal Government had fully mobilised them and that the projects would be delivered on time.