Gbongan/Akoda ExpressWay: Osun’s Economic Beehive
In the state of Osun today like the Yoruba would say the tune is ‘new dawn, new drum’. As day dawns in the state of the Virtuous so does the Aregbesola administration comes up with not only a new progressive idea but also one form of developmental stride or the other. Of course for a visionary, focused and determined leader no challenge is insurmountable. What we are witnessing in the state of Osun today in terms of democracy dividends never enjoyed by the people of the state before, sort of lends credence to the popular saying that; ‘where there is will, there is a way’.
With the award of Gbongan/Akoda road contract recently to Ratcon Construction Nigeria Limited, the can-do administration of Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola of the state of Osun is again set to achieve another feat in the area of infrastructure renewal, a key aspect of his administration policy thrust. The road, which was awarded at the cost of N29.3 billion is going to be a dual carriageway and not only this, it will also carry along with it construction of a trumpet bridge to be called Chief Bisi Akande Trumpet Bridge which will be constructed at Gbongan junction.
Reports in this newspaper quoted the Special Adviser to Ogbeni Governor on Works and Transport, Engineer Oladepo Sabiti Amudah who signed the contract with the company, as assuring that the road – which will be financed by the company with initial mobilisation of 15% – will be completed in 18 months. The 30 km expressway according to the Special Adviser, will include four pedestrian bridges, street lights, two layers of asphaltic surface with 60mm and 40mm thickness, reinforced concrete side drain, culverts and ditches, reinforced retaining wall, earthwork landscaping and road marking and signs. With this description even a lay man can easily have an insight into the quality of work to be delivered by the company. And it also shows that Ogbeni Aregbesola has a penchant for quality as evident in the roads he oversaw their constructions when he was commissioner for Works and Infrastructure in Lagos state.
The road revolution going on in the state of Osun under Ogbeni Aregbesola’s leadership deserves commendation. In contradistinction to what obtained during the era of the locusts (Oyinlola and company era) when inter-state and intra-city roads experienced unprecedented paralysis – being all things but passable – the roads in the state are now undergoing massive transformation. This is quite a feat as political and good governance observers with an eye on spectacular performance in government know that the condition of roads serves as one of the most physical measures of a government’s performance. Good roads no doubt enhance commercial activities and serve as a catalyst for economic growth while it boosts people’s happiness. In saner climes this is why good road network cannot be removed from the priorities of governments. Obviously if our nation is to be enlisted on the world map of development ours must not be different. Ogbeni Aregbesola knows this very well hence the road revolution initiatives he gladly embarks upon.
As we have consistently mentioned on this page the difference between a responsible and purposeful government like the one in the state now and its do-nothing predecessor headed by Oyinlola and his bunch of excuse givers, is just too clear. For instance the Gbongan/Akoda road construction project which is the subject-matter of this editorial had no head or tail for eight years of Oyinlola’s paralysis. Rather than doing that road even with the billions of naira his government borrowed from the bank at the tail the end of his government it only revelled in wasting the fund on white elephant project that never saw the light of the day – construction of stadia, that is. And not only for Gbongan/Akoda road project alone, the same unpalatable fate befell other projects embarked upon by Oyinlola’s maladministration.
By the time the Gbongan/Akoda road is delivered it will surely serve as Osun’s economic beehive. Being one of the strategic roads, and if we are not making a mistake here the most strategic one leading to the state Osun economy will experience an unprecedented boost at the completion of the road. We have absolute confidence in the ability of Ratcon Construction Nig. Ltd. to deliver the goods. We therefore urge the company to live up to expectation as a tested and trusted construction company. We wish both the state government and the company a glorious end as far as this newly awarded road contract is concerned.