Engineering a modern Oyo State through functional road networks by Lati Abayomi

Editor’s note: Public affairs commentator Lati Abayomi writes about the massive road construction currently underway in most parts of Oyo under the administration led by Seyi Maknde in the southwestern state.

Saki stopped on Thursday January 27, 2022. The occasion? The one they got to know as an engineer from modern Oyo State was coming to Oke-Ogun area for re-commissioning. This time it was the 9.7 km Saki Township dual road. Traders, craftsmen, students, farmers, traditional rulers, people from all walks of life showed up and lined the streets to welcome the People’s Governor. The atmosphere was electrifying.

Governor Makinde was praised for designing a modern Oyo State through functional road networks. Photo credit: @seyiamkinde
Source: Facebook

It was not the first time Governor Seyi Makinde came to Saki during his 32 months as governor. In fact, someone who says that the Seyi Makinde administration is Oke-Ogun’s moment would not be too far off the mark. Last year, the former headquarters of OYSADEP, which was rebuilt and now houses the headquarters of Oyo Agro-Industry Development Agency, was put into operation in Saki. Also last year, the 65 km Moniya-Ijaiye-Iseyin road was put into operation.

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All of this indicates that there is a deliberate attempt to create an alternative economic bloc outside of Ibadan. And as Governor Makinde stated in his remarks during the commissioning of Saki Township Road, the engineering basis of a modern Oyo State is a viable road network.

His words:

“When we say we are designing a modern Oyo State, that is what we mean. We mean we are designing and building a modern Oyo State. The basis of this design is a proper road network.

Indeed, a look at the completed, ongoing and proposed road projects in Oyo State shows that a strategic plan is in place to connect the various areas of economic prosperity. For example, it goes without saying that the 65 km Moniya-Ijaiye-Iseyin road opens a direct link between Oke-Ogun and Ibadan. But beyond that, it also provides the much-needed link between the state food basket and transportation hubs. Both the airport and the inland dry port are accessible via Ibadan. It is no wonder that the proposed business district of Ilutuntun is located in Moniya.

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But that’s not all. The ongoing 21 km Airport-Ajia-New Ife Expressway with a branch to Amuloko provides a vital link to the airport. This road connects Amuloko to Dagbolu (the border of Oyo and Ogun states). It is also a link with the Lagos-Ibadan highway through the Olorunsogo bridge. This certainly facilitates the transportation of goods and services.

In addition, the ongoing 34.5 km Iseyin-Oyo road connects the Oyo area to the Oke-Ogun area. Bearing in mind that the Oyo area is home to the ongoing Fasola agro-industrial cluster, giving an interesting twist to this project. The Fasola Agribusiness Industrial Hub will house large-scale processing facilities desperately needed by aggregate farmers in the Oyo zone. Although there are plans to create a similar facility in Oke-Ogun, the Iseyin-Oyo road ensures that meanwhile it would take around 15-20 minutes to travel between the two areas on this road.

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Then there is the 76.7 km Iseyin-Fapote-Ogbomoso road which will soon be signposted. Not only will this create a link between the Ogbomoso Campus of Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH) and the newly created LAUTECH Iseyin Campus which hosts the College of Agricultural Sciences and Renewable Natural Resources, but it is an answer to the prayers of community members along this axis.

In addition to all this, the Seyi Makinde administration is also working on strategic internal links between towns and villages which will eventually end in the roads connecting the airport and the ports. The 45.3 km Saki-Ogbooro-Igboho road, the 12.5 km dualization of the Challenge-Odo Ona Elewe-Apata road, the 12 km Apete-Awotan-Akufo road, the dualization of the Agodi Gate junction- 7.3 km Old Ife-Adegbayi with a branch to Alakia Airport, Ibadan, 5.2 km Gedu-Oroki-Sabo-Asipa road and 7.7 km Idi Ape-Basorun-Akobo-Odogbo Barracks road .2 km which has just been completed are just a few examples.

Undoubtedly, Governor Seyi Makinde’s administration is designing a modern Oyo State by constructing vital road networks. As Makinde would always say, road construction and rehabilitation is very important because where the roads go, accelerated development follows. It is no wonder that communities across Nigeria continue to celebrate administrations that prioritize road projects.

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