Ondo state Governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu SAN, CON has commended President Muhammadu Buhari for awarding the Akure-Ado road project and ensuring its commencement despite the fact that his administration is winding down in a few days.

Akeredolu, in a goodwill message at the flag-off of the project in Akure, stressed that the President has done the needful by not just taking an ordinary first step but a giant and unforgettable one.

The Ondo state Governor who was represented by his Commissioner for Infrastructure, Lands and Housing, Engr. Raimi Aminu, FNSE noted that in the past, the people of Ondo and Ekiti States merely heard of major road construction works by the federal government in other parts of the country and could not understand why such gesture had not been extended to them.

“In the past we only heard of multi-billion naira projects like Mokwa-Jebba road, Dutse-Katsina road, 2nd Niger bridge etc, and it simply looked to us like we had been neglected deliberately by the federal government, but now there is a new song in our mouths.

“It is like a man who lives in a city like Lagos which has millions of cars, he won’t feel good about such a feat until he gets his own.”

Commissioner for Infrastructure, Lands and Housing, Raining Aminu who represented the Ondo state governor, Oluwarotimi Akeredolu.

The governor said he was overjoyed to see the dream of commencement of the road reconstruction become a reality because many administrations who were crusaders of the same project, and who were perceived to have everything it takes to make it happen, have come and gone and could not make it happen.

He said like the Akure-Ado road project, the approval of a deep seaport license by the Buhari administration had given him a deep sense of fulfilment.

“When I was seeking a second term I pledged that I would gladly quit the race for any of the contestants who could give a guarantee that he would get approval for the Port within four years but none could. I am glad that President Buhari has helped me to achieve it too.”

The Ondo state governor thanked the Minister of Works and Housing, Raji Fashola, for supporting the President to make the project happen, noting that the Minister had helped to activate a process to make connectivity and exchange seamless between both states.

From left to right: Ademola Adegoroye, Minister of State for Transportation; Raji Fashola, Minister for Works and Infrastructure; Raimi Aminu, Ondo state Commissioner for infrastructure, Lands and Housing; and Senator Ayo Akinyelure.

The Governor who described the Akure-Ado road project as a testimony of a secure and progressive future for the people of Ekiti and Ondo States noted that in the past, kidnapping was commonplace on the road, and many were forced to use a longer and winding route, the Ilawe road, as alternative.

Akeredolu thanked the federal government for choosing two contractors who have proven track records with the state government to handle the project, Samchase/Horizon construction company and Kopek construction company, adding that they also have quarry and asphalt plant sites on the corridor of the project at Itaogbolu and Ikere to make the work easy.

The governor noted that he and his former Ekiti state counterpart, Dr Kayode Fayemi made frantic efforts to get the project started since 2017 and it was awarded to Dantata and Sawoe construction company but the project didn’t get off the ground then for some reasons.

He appealed to traditional rulers in communities through which the road would pass, that as custodians of the rich culture of the people, now that the project is starting, they should see it as a legacy that must be embraced, imploring them to guarantee an atmosphere that encourages the delivery of the expected purpose within the stipulated timelines.

Akeredolu thanked all concerned for their cooperation, particularly during the pre-construction stages of reconnaissance, design, data-acquisition and capturing, evaluation of affected properties within the right-of-way, engagements and re-engagements, assuring that all government’s responsibilities shall be duly discharged and no one will be left out during the remaining part of the work.

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