Roads & Infrastructure Sector
We bridged the infrastructural gap by putting asphalt on all surface dressed roads that were in existence in the rural and urban centers. We designed and constructed new road networks and dualized metropolitan roads with necessary road furniture such as streetlights and bus shelters. In all, we constructed not less than 500km of roads, which include Channelization, Rehabilitation and Dualization. Some of our road intervention efforts through the Ministry of Works, OSARMCO and OSOPADEC are still in progress. For example, construction is still on-going at Ikare dualisation, Ikare-Ajowa, FIwasaye-Airport e.t.c
Sixty-seven (67) road projects were ongoing at different stages of completion in the State at the inception of our administration; covering 875.914.km and out of which 420.35km were done up to surface dressed level leaving 168.42km outstanding. The dualization of the 1st Bank- Government House road and the dualization of the Fiwasaye — Akure/Ilesha Express Way, the dualization of Cathedral- Isikan—Army Barracks were paved with asphalt, the rest were surface dressed. These were without the necessary road furniture such as streetlights and bus shelters.
The initial Oba-Adesida road dualization constructed in 1977, ended at Ilesha garage, but the immediate past administration extended it up to Chicken Republic area. Again it was without the necessary road furniture. The liabilities were legion as the various road projects were not only surface dressed but were lacking basic road furniture such as streetlight and bus shelters.
Again, the Oba Adesida road from Chicken Republic up to Fiwasaye Girls Grammar School, Akure, even though had street lights but were dysfunctional, substandard and was not in sync with modern realities as at that time.
The first intervention to bridge the infrastructural gap was to make deliberate efforts to lay asphalt on all surface dressed roads by the immediate past administration feeling that surface dressed road were not too good for the people. In fact, the sub-standard street lights on the Isinkan – Ondo road and other road projects which were not functional at that time were removed. Efforts were made to complete the two road dualization projects ongoing then Fiwasaye to Akure/Ondo/Ilesha Expressway and the dualization of Cathedral – Isinkan – Barrack roads.
These roads ought to have been attended to because, the Fiwasaye – Akure/Ilesha Express Way was constructed in 1977 with a life span of 25 years which means, it should have been revisited since 2002 and nothing of such was done by the previous administration. The traffic grid lock around Oja – Oba market was already becoming unbearable such that people were already suggesting the need for a flyover, whereas traffic management system (which was later put in place by our administration) would solve the problem.
There were already flooding in many parts of the road structures especially during raining season and this was caused by the un-serviceability of the hydraulic structures and development of adjoining structures over time that impeded the flow of the Channels. It should also be noted that most of these areas were uninhabited as at the year 1977.
The magnitude of works to be done seemed overwhelming because channelization of water which hitherto was causing blockage around segments of the roads alone were to be done in places like old National Bank Area, Old Owo Motor Park/Iyeoma Plaza area, Nigerian Airways Area, Ilesha road and Ade Super Hotel Area. Also, Asphalt overlay of the entire 9.5km road, Provision of Bus Shelters, Re – engineering and construction “of the entire hydraulic, structures to cope with the increased volumetric demands of the moment, Provision of street lights powered by both public electricity and generators, Construction of new median and walkways, Beautification Of the median and side lawns needed to be done immediately.
Leadership is not a popularity contest; it is about envisioning lofty goals for the people and making hard choices to attain them. The ‘almighty’ Nepa – Arakale road which transverses through the heart of Akure with a lot of sacred places was dualized. This was a bit difficult for previous administrations for lack of political will.
In the history of Nigeria. Conflict always ensue when trying to redevelop an ancient city or the downtown area of a city and the reason is not far-fetched. Our Caring Heart government started by inaugurating a committee to look into the needs of the people regarding the issue of compensation to be paid to owners of properties affected by the road project. Regardless of whether their building plan was approved by government or not. When the people saw this sincerity of purpose, they keyed into it and government paid compensation to all involved and as such the stage was set for a rancor–free reconstruction of Nepa – Arakale road project.