The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, on Thursday, flagged-off the 49km dilapidated Akure/Ado-Ekiti road, saying the new road which will be dualised will cost N90billion.
The minister, while speaking during the event, said the approval of the contract for the construction of the road is in line with the present administration’s commitment to addressing infrastructural deficit in the country.
The minister assured that the construction of the Akure/ Ado-Ekiti which linked the two states will stimulate economic growth, commerce and the ease of doing business between the two states and other neighbouring states.
According to the Minister, the Buhari’s administration decided to give attention to the road because the road has outlived its service lifespan, which responsible for the several failed sections, multiple cracks and washouts at different sections of the road.
He however, disclosed that because of the inadequate funding of infrastructure experienced under the present administration, the road construction project would be financed by the NNPC/FIRS road Infrastructure Tax Credit Scheme.
The Minister said the Akure/Ado Ekiti road would be adequately catered for from the second phase of the NNPC Tax Credit Scheme, which is meant for funding of critical infrastructure development in the country.
He stated that the several complaints over the road necessitated the approval and called for the Federal Government withdrawal of the project from the initial contractors handling the project.
Fashola, however, said the road construction contract is expected to be completed within 24 months, calling on the two contractors, Samchase construction and Kopek construction company to resume to site immediately, warning against poor output.
He commended the Minister of State (Transport), Ademola Adegoroye, for his unrelenting efforts in ensuring the road is awarded and said “barely under a year, I know how many memoranda Adegoroye had presented. He chases me with telephone on this road.
“He told me he would not be able to return home after the expiration of tenure if the road is not awarded. When the issue of the road came up, some people suggested that the road be rehabilitated and rehashphalted, but I said it would be dualised
“It took this long because we have to do the redesigning of the road and other necessary documentation.”
The Minister of Transportation, Prince Ademola Adegoroye, appreciated Fashola for his efforts in ensuring the award of the contract to competent construction companies.
Governor Rotimi Akeredolu, who was represented by Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Raimi Aminu, said the road will put an end to the agony of the people, saying aside this, it will have impact in the socio-economic development of both states.
The Ekiti state governor, Mr. Biodun Oyebanji, who also represented by the State Head of Service, Dele Agbede, described the flag-off as an historic moment for the people of the two states.
He said the road which is vital to the people of the states would enhance commerce in the two states and said “this work will not stop until it is completed and it will be completed soon. We will support the contractors to ensure the construction of the road”
READ ALSO FROM NIGERIAN TRIBUNE