Governor Dapo Abiodun of Ogun says his administration is working to borrow N13 billion to fix the failed portions of the Lagos- Ota-Abeokuta road in Ado-Odo/ Ota Local Government Area.
Mr Abiodun disclosed this on Thursday, during a Town Hall meeting on the 2022-2024 Medium Term Expenditure Framework (MTEF) and 2022 Budget for Ogun – West Senatorial District, held at the Governor’s Office, Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.
“The issue is about funding. About N13 billion is needed to fix the failed portions of the road and the federal government is tinkering with Sukuk Bond.
“I have held several meetings with the Minister of Works where I proposed that as a state, we will go ahead and take the loan of N13 billion on their behalf and then make the money available to their contractor.
“However, we must come to a tripartite agreement among us, the state, the Federal Ministry of Works and the Federal Ministry of Finance that will tie the process of the bond back to a financial institution as a holding fund.
“That is the ongoing discussion we are having and I am not sure whether there is any administration that can be more creative than that,” he said.
Mr Abiodun expressed disappointment over Wednesday’s protest organised by the Ogun chapter of the Nigeria Labour Congress (NLC) on the road.
Members of the Nigeria Labour Congress and some residents locked down the Sango-Ota section of the Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway on Wednesday due to the deplorable conditions of the road.
The action followed the expiration of the 21-day ultimatum given to the Ogun and federal governments to fix the road.
“I am particularly distressed because some of the people who protested in the Local Government Area were in a meeting with me earlier this week or last week where we shared with them the constraints that we have as an administration and they understood with us.
“They saw clearly that this was not an act of wishful negligence on the part of our administration,” he said.
Mr Abiodun reiterated the government’s commitment to the Ado-Odo/Ota council area deserving attention as the industrial hub of the state.
“Apart from being a major outlet to the West-African sub-region, the Ogun-West Senatorial District is the industrial engine room of the state.
“The Agbara Industrial Estate within the district is regarded as one of the largest in sub-saharan Africa with about 400 national and multinational companies operating within it,” he said.
He explained that the construction of the Ota-Idi-Iroko road had been handed over to Mike Adenuga through the Tax Credit Scheme.
The governor said that the construction of Sagamu Toll Gate-Papalanto-Ilaro road had also been awarded to Aliko Dangote through the same scheme.
The governor urged the people of the district to be security conscious, assuring them of adequate protection.
“Security agencies in the state are on red alert to deal with any breach of peace in the area,” he said.
Earlier, the state Commissioner for Budget and Planning, Olaolu Olabimtan, noted that good financial management entailed a budget that takes people’s aspirations into consideration.
According to his Finance counterpart, Dapo Okubadejo, the Medium Term Expenditure Framework provides opportunities for future planning that focuses on important issues.
Contributing, the Olu of Ilaro, Oba Kehinde Olugbenle, lauded the government for its developmental strides.
The traditional ruler. who pointed out the slow pace of work on the ongoing construction of Ilaro-Owode road, appealed to the government to reconsider “the abandoned Ilaro-Ijoun-Ilara road”.
The Olota of Ota, Oba Adeyemi Obalanlege, called for urgent attention to the by-pass and link road in the area, and sought upgrade of the Gateway Institute of Technology, Igbesa to a University.