By Alaba-Olusola Oke
Akure, May 25,2023( The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, says that the Akure/Ado Ekiti Road reconstruction project will gulp over N90 billion.
Fashola stated this during the inauguration ceremony of the project on Thursday in Akure.
He said that the 49-kilometre road which was initially awarded to Dantata Sewoe Company but was terminated because of lack of mobilisation fee from the Sukuk funding, would be handled by Samchase, Horizon and Kopek companies and with completion period of 24 months.
According to him, the road which will be a dual carriage way, will not be financed by debt but by the tax credit policy initiated by the outgoing administration.
“ NNPC through the tax credit policy has committed to finance it,” he said.
He said that Ondo State has an amazing representation in the federal cabinet in person of Ademola Adegoroye, describing him as a personality to emulate.
“Prince Ademola Adegoroye has been in the cabinet in barely a year. I know how many memoranda he has presented to the council.
“And as a Minister of State, he has a substantive minister. It’s not something you do easily. He has endearing disposition and he is a lesson on how to work in government,” he said.
He appreciated the people of the two states for their patience, stating that there were processes and bottlenecks that seemed to have delayed the project.
“ If you don’t follow the Procurement Act passed by the National Assembly, they will call you and people will be calling us thieves. So, we have to comply and that takes time.
“ That is why you have heard me saying that the process that the law prescribes does not align with a hurry that Nigeria is in for development.
“ And I hope that the 10th Assembly will look at that act and make adjustments. It’s intention is good but the processes slow down the country,” he stated.
Fashola appealed to the host communities for their cooperation with the contractors handling the reconstruction.
Earlier, Mr Ademola Adegoroye, the Minister of State for Transport, applauded the Federal Government for the commencement of the road project.
Adegoroye said that he had become a burden to the Federal Ministry of Works, going there every week as regards the project.
He added that the works minister did not abandon him but kept reassuring him that work would start on the project.
The minister explained that the road is important to people of the two states.
“ In the old Ondo State, the Akure/Ado Road is very important because Ondo and Ekiti people are one. Many people live in Ekiti and are working in Ondo State while some are from Ekiti but live in Ondo State,” he said.
According to him, the road, when completed will create commerce and employment and bring comfort to commuters and motorists plying the road.
He stated that one of his major mandates as a minister was to make the road reconstruction a reality .
Adegoroye praised Gov. Oluwarotimi Akeredolu of Ondo State for his doggedness and support towards the project.
In his words, Akeredolu described the ceremony as historic, saying that people of the two states had gone through pains and agony when plying the road.
Akeredolu, who was represented by the State Commissioner for Infrastructure, Land and Housing, Mr Raimi Aminu, commended the people for their patience, adding that it was time for host communities to give maximum support towards the reconstruction of the road.
Similarly, Gov. Abiodun Oyebanji of Ekiti said that the road when completed would facilitate trade and commerce in the two states.
Represented by his Head of Service, Mr Dele Agbede, Oyebanji asked the contractors handling the project to ensure that the road meets high standard.
He lauded the efforts of Fashola and Adegoroye for giving the project a priority,asking all and sundry to support the project’s completion.