President Muhammadu Buhari, on Thursday inaugurated five key projects in Ogun State and commended Governor Dapo Abiodun for being a “silent and effective achiever”.
Buhari, was received at the Gateway City Gate, Sagamu Interchange by the delegation of the state government, governors from the southwest states, senators, ministers, traditional rulers and top government functionaries.
He declared that the governor had been able to deliver visionary and trail-blazing projects for the people, even in the midst of prevailing and challenging circumstances occasioned by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Buhari noted that the Gateway City Gate; the 42-Kilometre Sagamu Interchange-Abeokuta Road; the 14km Ijebu-Ode-Epe Expressway and two Housing Estates for low, medium and high income earners at Kobape and Oke-Mosan in Abeokuta, respectively, could not have materialized without the state government’s huge investment and commitment to security of lives and property.
While assuring Nigerians that two major Federal roads under construction, the Sagamu-Benin Expressway and the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, would be commissioned before the end of 2022, the president, however, expressed delight that the 14km Ijebu Ode-Mojoda-Epe Road has been reconstructed into a modern expressway by the state government.
According to him, the “impressive road will complement the Sagamu-Benin Expressway that the Federal Government is currently reconstructing; also due for commissioning this year”.
Describing Abiodun as the ‘‘performing governor of Nigeria’s Gateway State,’’ the president said he is a worthy example of ‘‘promises made, promises kept.’’
‘‘This has made Ogun State one of the safest and most peaceful States in the country and investors’ destination of choice.
‘‘You have justified the mandate of the people of Ogun State. You have represented our party very well. Your Excellency, well done! I am proud of what you have done for your state and your people.
‘‘You have made our great party, the APC, proud too”, the president stated.
He added: “Just across the road is the 42-kilometer Sagamu-Interchange-Abeokuta Road which the state government has reconstructed and equipped with street lights.
‘‘I am particularly impressed by the quality and standard of your road projects, and the creative way you have deployed resources to reconstruct and rehabilitate them.
‘‘It is significant to note that the two road projects being commissioned today are federal roads. This is an example of constructive engagement, cooperation and collaboration between the states and federal government.
‘‘These roads also fit well into our rail transportation masterplan that connects Lagos, Nigeria’s economic capital to Kano, with Ogun State having more rail stations, along the Lagos-Ibadan rail corridor”.
The president, who noted that the housing programme of the state government is inclusive, also commented that the projects cut across different social strata, capturing the low, medium and high income earners.
He, however, assured that Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta and the Sango Otta-Idiroko Roads will receive the attention of Federal Government.
The president also announced that the Federal Government would consider extending tax credit as funding option for the reconstruction of the two roads, as done for the 100km Sagamu Interchange-Papalanto-Ilaro Road, submitting that he would consider the approval of the reconstruction of Sagamu-Ogijo Road by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) Limited under the tax credit scheme.
Buhari was later bestowed with the ‘‘honourary indigeneship’’ and presented with the key of Gateway State by Governor Abiodun.
Earlier in his speech, Governor Abiodun, said all the projects and programmes his administration had undertaken are deliberate and guided by a vision to give Ogun a focused and qualitative governance and create an enabling environment for a Public Private Sector Partnership to thrive.
He explained that the choice of the five projects being commissioned was however symbolic of the various types of projects across all sectors of our the state’s economy, spreading through the three senatorial districts.
Abiodun further informed the president that all state government projects have the inputs and are informed by the needs of the people as expressed by them at different engagement fora.
The governor, however, explained that the Gateway City Gate is an iconic monument that not only beautifies the environment, but a reflection of the new approach to governance in the state, adding “it symbolizes the convergence, harmony, and unity amongst all the groups and sections of the state.
“The Ijebu-Ode-Epe Road , a Federal Road which Your Excellency commissioned earlier, is another strategic arterial road that links the Lekki / Epe corridor of Lagos State to the eastern corridor of Ogun State at Ijebu- Ode.
“With this road, socio-economic activities in the South East and South South zones of our country will receive a boost through the linkage of the road to Sagamu-Benin Expressway for easier access by motorists to Lagos, Nigeria’s largest economy.
“In the same vein, the Sagamu Interchange-Abeokuta Road is 42km in length and is the main arterial road that leads to our capital city. It is a dual carriageway with streetlights, median and other road furniture.
“This road, though a federal road, was redesigned and reconstructed to address the daily challenges being experienced by commuters, and to make commuting between the state capital and other parts of the state and, indeed, the rest of the country a safe, secure and pleasant experience. The two roads are very significant and critical to the socio-economic development of not only Ogun State but the nation at large.
“Mr. President, two of our many housing projects have been completed and ready for you to commission. Our affordable Housing Estate at Kobape in Abeokuta comprises of 526 units of 2 and 3-bedroom bungalows. The King’s Court at Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta is a middle/high income Housing Estate and has 31 of its 85 units in the first phase fully completed.
“The remaining 54 units are at various stages of completion. Our aggressive housing programme is aimed at delivering 2,500 units of houses by the end of our first term.
“So far, we have achieved over 60% of the target within 30 months and are confident that we will deliver on this commitment, as we have done in all our programmes”, he stated.
While saying the Ogun has highest number of federal roads in the country, Abiodun further requested that state be accorded a special status for federal government infrastructural funding, especially on roads.
Speaking on behalf of traditional rulers, the Akarigbo of Remoland and Chairman, Ogun State Council of Obas, Oba Babatunde Ajayi said the administration had kept it’s promise.
This he said was by ensuring even distribution of developmental projects in all parts of the srate, appreciating the president for showing respect to the state and its people with his visit.