There was excitement in the air as the Ekiti State government under the leadership of Dr. Kayode Fayemi commenced the construction of a major road abandoned in the last 41 years. RASAQ IBRAHIM witnessed the handover of the road to the Chinese firm

During the statewide electioneering campaign ahead of the July 14, 2018 governorship election which he won as confirmed by the Election Tribunal and the Court Appeal, construction reconstruction and rehabilitation of road was in the front burner.
In all villages, communities and towns reached by his campaign train, Fayemi who expressed displeasure about the state of roads and infrastructure promised to bring them back to good condition if elected.
Fayemi won national and global renown for infrastructure development during his first tenure in office between 2010 and 2014 but many of the roads constructed and rehabilitated under his watch were abandoned by the Fayose administration.
With Providence and the votes of Ekiti people b ringing him back to the office he vacated four years earlier, one of the focal points of his restoration government was road construction, reconstruction and rehabilitation.
During the celebration of the 100 days of his administration on January 24, Fayemi flagged off the construction of the new Ado-Iyin Road to open up new areas and connect the two major towns within minutes.
Many residents of Iyin commute to Ado every day for one business or the other while many workers in Ado are resident in Iyin because of cheaper house rents compared to the state capital.
Besides, the new various federal establishments have their corporate offices along the abandoned road and the Fayemi administration’s move to carry out the project is a blessing to them.
The agencies include Central Bank of Nigeria, News Agency of Nigeria, Department of State Services, Federal Roads Maintenance Agency, Public Complaints Commission, Federal Mortgage Bank, Joint Admissions and Matriculation Board, Independent National Electoral Commission, Federal High Court, just to mention a few.
That was why the commencement of the formal handover of the road to the contractor, China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC) was done amidst pomp and pageantry to the delight of government officials, construction workers and residents of the area.
It should be noted that the road which was originally awarded in 1978 by the Gen. Olusegun Obasanjo-led military administration when Ekiti was part of the old Ondo State but it was abandoned.
Handing the project over to the contractor, Fayemi said he is irrevocably committed to fulfilling all his electioneering promises in all sectors, especially in the area of infrastructure which is a catalyst for development.
Work on the road project billed for completion in eighteen dry months.
Fayemi who was represented by the Deputy Governor, Otunba Bisi Egbeyemi, said the 7.25km road project is the first phase of the construction work which will stop at the State’s boundary with Osun State; noting that the dualisation project will be completed within 24 months.
On behalf of the state chief executive, Egbeyemi test drove the
tractor to officially marked commencement of work of one of the major arteries into Ado, the state capital.
He said the first phase of the project is the construction of the road from Ado to Iyin, the second phase from Iyin to Aramoko while the third phase would be from Aramoko to Itawure.
The governor expressed worry that the old Ado – Iyin road had become a death trap because of its unsafe, winding and undulating alignments which had caused series of fatal accidents on the route.
According to him, his administration cannot helplessly watch citizens’ lives and properties lost to the road.
He said: “As a government, we understand and appreciate the importance of good road network to our economic development.
“Good road network will not only ease the stress of commuters but will also enhance the marketability of our farm produce which is the mainstay of most of our people.
“Ekiti people should take it that our government would fulfill all our promises to the people, and infrastructure development is just a part of it.
“All we need is that the people should cooperate with us. We will try our best to serve our people.
“The workers will continue to receive their salaries as and when due.
The governor knows the people’s problem. Some weeks ago, some vehicles fell inside Akannasan ditch.
“When this road is completed, it will bring an end to such unfortunate incidents.”
The Special Adviser to the Governor on Road, Transport and Infrastructure, Hon. Sunday Adunmo, said lightings will be accommodated in the N8.9 Billion road so that commuters can travel any time without fears of the unknown.
Adunmo disclosed that the Fayemi-led government will soon commence construction of some ring roads to reduce traffic in the State capital. He listed such roads to include Iworoko-Eyio-Igede road and Ago Aduloju (Ado Ekiti) – Afao Road among others.
Adunmo said further that the Fayemi-led administration would use infrastructure as a tool for taking the agro- based economy of the state to a global limelight.
The Special Adviser who said the project would be in three phases explained that the first phase will terminate at Iyin Ekiti while the second phase yet to be awarded would end at Aramoko and the third at ltawure respectively.
“As the months unfold, there would be more deliveries of substantial projects to Ekiti people. The dual carriage way is going to be with streetlights for travels and other conveniences.
“Fayemi administration is poised to take Ekiti State to the next level of development,”’ Adunmo said.
He said work would commence on rural roads across the state to ease transport problems of farmers and enhance the marketing of their product.
While affirming that more road projects would be flagged off soon, he said government would also work relentlessly to ensure the provision of water, housing and other basic infrastructure for Ekiti people.
‘There shall be more roads, water and other infrastructure. These would make farming lucrative and speed up the industrial development of our dear state,’ he stated.
He said the road project which is the first phase would be delivered in the next 18 dry months adding that other vital roads across the state would not be spared in the infrastructural revolution.
The Southwest Regional Manager of company handling the project, Sewell Zhao, said the company has commenced the recruitment of workers for the project.
The CCECC chief stated that the company will accommodate local content by employing at least 500 Ekiti people for the construction work.
Zhao assured that the company will deliver quality job as the company has brought new equipment that will enable it deliver in time and on cost billed for completion within 24 months.

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