by Usman Alabi
They were elated when they were told that their deplorable roads would be reconstructed, each community will host a flyover that would link it to the outside world. Somehow they thought this is a dividend of democracy, but who can prove otherwise? Finally, their sequestered communities on the fringes of the state have caught the attention of government.
The five communities would each be linked with a flyover, thus paving way for the needed economic boom. Not that there was no economic activities going on before now, but such support infrastructure would finally integrate these communities with the economy of the state and they can finally begin to structurally contribute their own quota to the development of Ogun state.
Ijoko, Agbado, Lambe, Akute and Alagbole are in the fringes of Ogun state. The adjoining roads to these communities are in a complete state of disrepair, apart from these, there is no support infrastructure to show that there is presence of government in the area.
The ongoing construction of five flyovers in these communities started seven years ago according to residents and the project which was initiated by the Ibikunle Amosun-led administration, was scheduled to be completed within 24 months. The project was contracted to Central South Construction Company limited, but was abandoned two years ago.
While there is no official reason for the stoppage of work, sources attribute the abandonment of the project to paucity of funds.
The state government returned to these projects months after its abandonment, but since then, work on the site has been tardy. The governor reportedly made a promise to complete these projects before the end of his second term in office. But going by the realities on ground, there is no proof that this present administration will complete these projects before it hands over.
Work on the Akute flyover aspect of the project is yet to reach advanced stage, likewise Lambe and Agbado. While Ijoko and Alagbole are in their advanced stages, it is difficult to conclude that they would be completed this year.
We spoke to the residents of the communities and they told us that the governor came to their community to campaign for reelection, with a promise to complete the projects in his second term in office, but there is no evidence to believe that the promise will be fulfilled.
The adjoining roads to these communities are also bad, and for citizens living in these communities, navigating the roads in dry seasons is as bad as it is, during the rainy season.
The roads are muddy when it rains and the absence of proper drainage networks often lead to flooding. In the dry season, it is a sea of red dust.
Many have accused the Ogun state government of being notorious when it comes to abandoning projects, they claim that more attention is given to the state capital, Abeokuta than other parts of the state.
To address this, the state might need to consider a public private partnership (PPP). The state government would have to look into the process of siting projects as some areas do not necessarily need a flyover. The five communities of Ijoko, Alagbole, Lambe, Akute and Agbado do not all need flyovers. They are all connected. For cost reasons, constructing the road is not bad (without flyovers)as it will save time.
The government can site flyovers at Alagbole and Ijoko since they are on the outer fringes of the state, but constructing five flyovers in five communities that are linked together is not necessarily a good decision.