May 28, 2024

Multiple roads being reconstructed within and around Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, are set to improve travel time, ensure smooth movements and transform the looks of West Africa’s largest city, writes Southwest Bureau Chief BISI OLADELE.

For residents of Ibadan, the Oyo State capital, a new lease of life beckons. Going by the network of high-impact roads that are currently being reconstructed or rehabilitated in the Ibadan metropolis, a new lease of life manifesting in improved travel time, seamless movements and even a touch of aesthetics awaits residents.

Some of the roads in the state capital either being reconstructed or rehabilitated by Governor Seyi Makinde’s administration include the popular Ring Road, Dugbe-Mokola- University of Ibadan (UI) Road and Total Garden-Secretariat-UI Road.

The Governor had shortly after the assumption of office in 2019, re-awarded the 65-kilometre Ibadan-Iseyin Road which was previously awarded by his predecessor but was almost abandoned after initial works started.

His administration completed it in 18 months. The road connects Ibadan with the 10 local government areas in Oke-Ogun. The administration also reconstructed Iseyin-Oyo Road which had become impassable for decades.

Shortly after this, Makinde’s administration embarked on another ambitious 76-kilometre Iseyin-Ogbomoso Road construction which did not exist before. The project, which is already 75 per cent completed, is another project of huge economic importance as it connects Oke-Ogun, an agrarian zone, to the Ogbomoso and Ilorin markets.

The Iseyin-Oyo Road is also strategic for both agriculture and education. It connects the zone to Oyo Market and eases travel for members of staff and students of the Ladoke Akintola University whose campus has taken off in Iseyin.
Also, reconstruction and rehabilitation of the 48-kilometre Ibadan-Eruwa Road, which has been in a deplorable condition, have begun.

The move will bring a great relief to users of the road that connects Ibadan with the entire Ibarapa zone which consists of three local government areas.

This is in addition to several kilometres of roads connecting other communities in Oke-Ogun and Ibadan such as the Akanran-Ajia Road, as well as the completion and rehabilitation of township roads within Ibadan. They include Old Ife Road and Idi-Ape-Akobo Road.

Though ambitious and almost unprecedented, Makinde has explained that the strategic thinking behind the huge road network projects was to connect the five zones in the state through seamless road travel.

He said the movement of goods, particularly farm produce, and services with ease across the entire state would boost economic activities thereby enhancing wealth creation among the residents.

But the icing on the cake for travellers passing through Ibadan en route to Lagos, Osun, Ondo states and northern Nigeria, is the Circular Road which offers a faster alternative to those passing through Ibadan to other states.

With the road, they won’t have to navigate the city through the Iwo Road interchange and its adjoining roads which are most times notorious for traffic congestion.

The first phase of the Circular Road initiates at the Abiola Ajimobi Technical University section on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway and terminates at Badeku Village on Ibadan-Ife Road. The 32-kilometre road will ease passage through Ibadan for travellers from Lagos heading to Osun, Ondo, Ekiti and northern Nigeria.

Work is going on speedily on the project.

The intersection on both Lagos and Ife roads has already taken shape while bridges on the road have been constructed. The project will be delivered by the middle of next year, according to the Commissioner for Public Works and Transport, Prof. Daud Sangodoyin.

Expatiating on the thought behind the road network projects, the Commissioner told The Nation: “Let me put the record straight.

You need to understand the facts from when we came in, what we have done in Omituntun 1.0 and what we are doing now so that you will have the record straight. When we came in, we met 33.975 kilometres of road construction in eight years of Senator Abiola Ajimobi-led administration.

“We did the audit in January 2021. Before May 29, 2019, and May 29, 2023, we had completed 140 kilometres of road. As I speak, I have to add the road completed at Oyo/Iseyin. With that, we have completed 179.2 kilometres of roads. Our ongoing projects are all over the state. We are working on 408.41 kilometres of roads across the state.

They are a combination of total reconstruction and rehabilitat 
The Commissioner explained that in engineering when one does rehabilitation, there is no way he will not reconstruct.

“That is why we say rehabilitation/reconstruction. In some areas, you need to rehabilitate and in some, you have to reconstruct totally.

For example, the 48-kilometre road from Ido to Eruwa is reconstruction/rehabilitation. We have close to 10 kilometres that needed just rehabilitation but about 30 kilometres is total reconstruction,” he stated.

Prof. Sangodoyin, however, said the Iseyin to Ogbomoso road is a completely new road and it is 76 kilometres. “I can say that currently, we are working on 408.41 kilometres of road projects in Oyo State.

For those that we are going to complete this year, I am sure that we are going to complete the road leading from Challenge, Odo Ona to Apata Road. That is 12.5 kilometers. That one is completed; we are just doing the road markings.

“We are also going to complete Gate-Onipepeye-Adegbayi Road. That is 8.2 kilometers. It’s completed as I speak. We are just doing the road markings and furniture. God willing, we are going to complete that this year.

The 76-kilometre Iseyin-Fapote-Ogbomoso Road is a new construction. It is the largest road in the history of Oyo State. We have also built some bridges on the Ogun River. We are also going to inaugurate it this year,” he said.

The Commissioner also said the Airport Road, which is 21 kilometres, will be inaugurated this year, just as the 48-kilometre Ido-Eruwa Road will be finished this year.

“Concerning inner roads, contractors have started work on some of them currently. They are 85.58 kilometres in total. We are going to inaugurate those roads this year,” he said, pointing out that the inner roads within Ibadan are 16 in number.

For instance, there is Ring Road (from 110 to Challenge). There is also Dugbe-Mokola-Sango-UI Road. There is UI-Bodija-Secretariat-Yemetu-Bere Road. Another one is Gate-Molete Road.

“If you add them together, they are 85.58 kilometres of roads. We are going to inaugurate those roads this year,” Prof. Sangodoyin said, noting that with the reconstruction and rehabilitation of multiple roads within Ibadan central economic area, “the city is set to wear a new look as they are inaugurated one after another this year.”

The Commissioner was emphatic that with what is being done, the city will be better interconnected and movement of goods and services will become easier, and road users will enjoy comfort.
Already, the 8.2-kilometre Agodi-Onipepeye underpass-Gbagi-Adegbayi Road was inaugurated on Thursday, last week.

The road was started by the previous administration but completed by the Makinde administration. The same for Agodi-Iwo Road and Idi-Ape-Akobo Ojurin Road, which were also started by the past administration but completed by the current administration to the applause of residents.

Allaying fears of how multiple road works could affect movement within the city during the period of construction/rehabilitation, Sangodoyin said measures have been put in place to ensure minimal disruptions to movements within the period with the deployment of road traffic managers to affected roads.

His words: “What I want our people to understand is that when we embark on road construction, we also put in place road traffic management.

I can assure them that with the cooperation of the Oyo State Road Traffic Management Authority (OYRTMA), Operation Burst, and Vehicle Inspection Office (VIO), we will put effective and efficient traffic management on the roads.

“But our people must be patient. I also appeal to them not to drive in traffic. I urge them not to take laws into their own hands while plying the roads. We should all be patient.

It is an appeal to all the road users that when we embark on these constructions, we should also obey the traffic signals.”

With many inner roads scheduled for completion before the end of 2024, Ibadan seems set to consolidate its city status among the leading cities in Nigeria.

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