by Aichienede Akhabue Goodluck and Godfrey Osejele
Good and accessible roads have been catalysts for economic development in any society.
This is because for any society to thrive, there is the need for good and accessible road network that will aid the movement of people and goods, as well as facilitate service delivery for the residents.
Over the years, residents of Ekosodin Community in Ovia North-East Local Government Area of Edo State have had sad tales of hardship owing to the deplorable condition of their major access roads, which made both vehicular and pedestrian movements nearly impossible and oftentimes served as a flashpoint for criminals to carry out their nefarious activities in the locality.
Ekosodin Community was a reference point in the light of its strategic location, as it serves as the host community for the prestigious University of Benin and has over the years, acted as a complementary residence location for the students and workers of the Citadel of learning.
This highlights the importance the roads serve, not just to the indigenes of the community, but also to the academic community.
Worst hit by the deplorable condition of the Roads were pedestrians, business owners, commuters and students amongst others.
For instance, most residents of the Community found it difficult to access their homes and had to pay through the nose just to get to their various destinations.
In a similar vein, some landlords had to abandon their houses and lands due to incessant flooding that ravaged their assets as a result of the poor state of the Roads.
Owners of automobiles also suffered challenges as they had to take their vehicles regularly to the mechanic for repairs and that affected their scarce resources which in turn affected their wellbeing.
More worrisome was the total collapse of socio-economic activities in the Community due to the impasse on the road.
The resultant effect was inimical to the economic prosperity of the Community and State in general.
The intervention of the Governor Godwin Obaseki-led Government has changed the narrative of Ekosodin Community as the 4.859km road and some of its adjoining streets (Ehigiegba, Boundary, Edo, and Newton) have been fully asphalted with side drains and underground drainages.
Socio-economic activities have been fully restored to the Community and new business outlets (like mini supermarkets, eateries, POS aggregators, and cafe ventures) are springing up in the area.
More importantly, the number and activities of transport operators have significantly increased as they now leverage the newly constructed roads to carry out their daily business without fear of getting their vehicles damaged as was the case in times past.
Landlords and landowners who hitherto abandoned their property due to the poor state of the roads are returning joyfully to reclaim and develop their property.
The value of land in the Community has appreciated drastically.
Traders in the Ekosodin Market and other business owners could not contain their ecstasy as they asserted how the former poor condition of the roads affected their businesses and economic activities in the Community.
They expressed joy that fortunes have smiled on them since the roads were constructed.
Security operatives in the community and its environs also joined in the appreciation of the good works of Governor Obaseki, as they averred that the construction of the roads has helped to abate criminal activities.
Ekosodin is a community that was dreaded by many because of communal and feudal crises, armed robbery, harassment and assault, and inter-cult clashes, but since the roads were constructed, the nefarious activities of hoodlums and cultists have reduced to the barest minimum as security operatives now find it easy to go on patrol and inspection.
Governor Obaseki’s intervention in constructing the Ekosodin Road and it’s adjoining streets has restored hope and greatly improved the socio-economic fortunes of the Community and has enhanced the internally generated revenue of both the Local Government and the State.