Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State has flagged off the dualization of the 9.7km Saki Township Road along Oke Ogun Poly-Ilesha Ibaruba road, just as he confirmed that the state has not collected its share of the Paris Club over deduction funds given back to some states by the federal government recently.
The Governor said that the state was excluded in the initial disbursement of the funds to some states, saying that the state is currently reconciling accounts with the federal government in order to get its own share of the Paris Club debts over deduction fund.
The governor, who also addressed the people of the town at a town hall meeting held at Harmony Garden, Saki town after the flag off of the dualization on Tuesday, said that the government would make use of the arable land in Oke Zone for agriculture with assurances that his administration would make Oke Ogun zone as the centre of agricultural revolution in the South West.
He pledged that the state government was not relenting in its efforts at securing food security in the State through its Agric-Oyo program, adding “Agriculture is the foundation of the development of Oke Ogun and I urge our people to fully utilize the land in the zone for agricultural produce. We want our traditional leaders to point to their cassava farms, maize farms, yam farms, rice farms amongst others.
Governor Ajimobi said that the importance of road transportation in any developed or developing country cannot be over-emphasized, stressing that free flow of traffic on our roads is very important for the efficient delivery of goods and services.
According to him,
“one of the cardinal programmes of my administration is to dualize the major entry points to towns within the state to give them an unprecedented facelift. We have started in Ibadan, Oyo, Ogbomoso and Iseyin. We assure our people of good governance through basic infrastructure and people oriented programmes. We are ready to restore the acclaim of Oke Ogun zone as the food basket of the state and to also contribute significantly to the improvement of the socio-economic activities in the zone.”
The governor said the road, which is awarded to Adolf Engineering Development Company at a contract sum of #8,239,875,839.47 and expected to be completed within 18months, would be funded from the Federal Government Infrastructure Intervention Fund and consequently charged the contractor to deliver an excellent job by working round the clock and ensure good traffic management to reduce the hardship that the project might cause the populace.
Governor Ajimobi assured that the government would continue to give updates on its programmes and policies to the people, promising that it (government) would be transparent and accountable to the entire populace in order to ensure that the dividends of democracy are delivered equitably to the citizens of the state.
The governor further explained that one of the fastest ways to develop a state is through agriculture and this is why the state has started its pilot agricultural programme through the 10 local governments in Oke Ogun area of the state.
Ajimobi pointed out that the state government is modeling Malaysia where the government invited investors to come and develop the town, saying that the government is luring investors to the state with free land in order to develop the state.
The governor assured the Oke Ogun communities of an end to Bororo farmers’ crises, premising his optimism on a tripartite committee set up by the state government to foster regular dialogue between farmers and Bororo cattle rearers.
Governor Ajimobi restated that his administration would not relent in turning around education in the state, adding that the government would ensure that the new Schools Governing Board (SGB) model is fully implemented.
Responding, some of the stakeholders at the Town Hall meeting commended the governor for the creation of Local Council Development Authority (LCDAs), the provision of adequate security and the government’s efforts to develop new water works in the state.
In his own address, the representative of Saki Parapo, the umbrella body for all indigenous groups, unions and associations in Saki, Chief S. A. Onifade appreciated the state government for the road dualization and prayed for the speedy completion.
He urged the governor to improve the coverage of Oke Ogun FM and consequently urged the state government to complete the technical college situated in Saki in due course.