Ekiti State is pursuing infrastructual upgrade and construction of roads with part of the N20 billion bond it got through the capital market. This, according to the Governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, is to position the state as an investment destination of choice, taking advantage of its status as a link between the northern and southern parts of the country. OKWY IROEGBU-CHIKEZIE writes.
Major road construction, rehabilitation and maintenance are going on in Ekiti State as highways and inner roads are wearing a new look.
The construction is anchored on the administration’s belief that infrastructure is a trigger for development.
The roads are Ado-Ekiti to Ikere, Igbara -Odo to Erinjiyan/Ilawe and Ikogosi/ Ipole. Others are Oye-Ikun-Otun Road, Igede- Awo-Ido Road, dualisation of Atikankan-Nitel Baptist road.
In a chat with The Nation, Senior Special Assistant to Governor Kayode Fayemi on Roads Mr Adunmo Sunday said the state embarked on the rehabilitation and construction to offer a fresh window of opportunity and development to the state and the people.
He said the Fayemi administration avoided the mistakes of the past where maintenance of roads became a recurrent expenditure for government because the roads were poorly done. He said the government inherited some roads from the previous administration and has had to invite the contractors for clarifications due to the poor quality workmanship as most of the roads were initiated without soil test and analysis.
Adunmo promised that the government will complete most of the jobs initiated before the second year anniversary of the current administration in October.
On the number of road projects, he said the government initiated 20 road projects and inherited 25, which are at levels of completion.
On the challenges, he said aside paucity of funds, his greatest is that most of the road constructions embarked on by the state are federal roads that have been neglected over the years. Besides, he said the movement of heavy trucks and trailers of over 30 tons on the roads, which in the first place was not built for such heavy duty vehicles, weighted down on the road.
He said the standard quality for construction of roads is a minimum of 10 years and that the government has paid N275 million as compensation to those whose houses were demolished for road expansion. He revealed that the state has a catalogue of bad roads before now due to poor supervision of men and materials – contractors deliberately used low grade materials to build roads that hardly lasted a season.
Commissioner for Works & Transport Mr Sola Adebayo said part of the eight-point agenda of the administration is to ensure that all cities and towns in the state are accessible by 2014.
He said: “Though we inherited many uncompleted projects, we will nevertheless complete and inaugurate them by October to mark our first year anniversary. The plan actually is to inaugurate over 10 completed roads”. Adebayo said the government took time to take an audit of roads to ascertain their state of disrepair and how best to deal with issues arising from it because they inherited quite a number of them.
Earlier, Fayemi said his administration embarked on massive infrastructure provision to drive development in the mostly rural and agrarian state. He said the state budgetary provision is tilted in favour of capital projects and expenditure in a bid to transform the state into an investment destination of choice. Fayemi said his administration is investing heavily on infrastructure upgrade, sustainable development, green economy, land management and conservation. He said though the state has invested N10billion out of the N20 billion naira bonds from the capital market, a lot will still be achieved if the Federal Government pays them the outstanding N10billion debt emanating from the federal road projects executed by the state.
He also said that though the state ranks 35th on the revenue line of the Federal Government, it has been able to raise its Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) from N110million to N600 million monthly in the bid to lift development.
He said: “We are providing infrastructure close to nature that meets all conditionality of modernity. We also took time to pay compensation to people affected in anyway by the various road construction and expansion projects. Our challenge now is that motorists travelling to the northern and southern parts of the country detour into our state because of the good roads. In the process, heavy duty vehicles destroy our roads because they are not built to take loads that are over 30 tons.”
He disclosed that no part of the state is neglected as rural roads are opened up daily to link the cities and move men and resources around for even development.
This article was first published in The Nation on July 9, 2012.
Last modified: July 10, 2012