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Oyo State Governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, was on Thursday, joined by his Adamawa State counterpart, Governor Ahmadu Fintiri to commission the dualised 9.7kilometres Oke-Ogun Poly-Saki Township/Ilesha Ibaruba Road.
Governor Fintiri, who was the special guest of honour at the event, commended Makinde for delivering such a massive road project, among many others, despite economic challenges in the country.
He congratulated Makinde for standing firm with his people, saying that governor’s of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) are living up to expectations of the people.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Seyi Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, also indicated that the Adamawa helmsman equally lauded the people of the state for supporting Makinde, noting that Governor Makinde is very passionate about the development of Oyo State.
Fintiri said: “I am indeed honoured to be in Oyo State by the invitation of my friend and brother, GSM. I bring to you the warm regards of our people in Adamawa state. He is a first-term governor of the PDP, who is passionate about the development of Oyo State.
“He is someone in a hurry to change the fortune of his people for good. I must confess that the quantum of projects I have seen in Oyo State have forced my belief in Him and increased my respect for him. The APFA initiative for the urban renewal campaign, which he has initiated, is manifesting multiple road infrastructure.
“I have also seen the wonders he has performed in other key sectors of health, education, rural infrastructure, trade and Commerce. I can confirm that this can only be achieved in a PDP state.”
Governor Makinde, while speaking at the official commissioning ceremony held at the Oke-Ogun Polytechnic, Saki, maintained that the Saki Township road project will enhance the socio-economic development of the state and play a major role in engineering a modern Oyo State.
He added that his administration will not play politics with the development of Oyo State, noting that his administration will continue to take development beyond Ibadan, the capital of the state.
He assured that the present administration will ensure that the state get value for its money.
The governor revealed that the state was able to save over one billion naira from the initial contract awarded by the previous administration, adding that the state will continue to maintain zero tolerance for wastage.
He said: “I want to start by thanking my dear brother, His Excellency Governor Fintiri, for honouring us. We appreciate your presence here today to commission this very strategic road to the people of Saki Township Road.
“I am glad to see the happy faces here today and what are we celebrating here? We are celebrating accelerated development because everywhere a strategic road goes, development follows immediately.
“History has it that the first road for motorised vehicles in Nigeria was built here in Oyo State in 1906, and the road links Ibadan to Oyo town.
“It was useful for transporting agricultural products from Oyo to Ibadan and from there to the Port for export. So, this is why I am excited about this linkage we are creating here in the Oke-Ogun zone.
“Oke-Ogun is our bread basket and agricultural arbiter and that is why we returned OYSADA to Saki Township.
“So, linking Oke-Ogun up to the rest of the zones means we can easily move our clothing for export either by air through our airport or by sea through the dry port at Moniya. Since we fixed the Moniya road, we have been able to cut the travel time from Saki to Ibadan to almost two and a half hours as against the former five hours.
“We know we have to take development beyond the state capital as we cannot afford to continue in the trajectory where one part of the state is generating the revenue that all the other parts of the state benefit from.
“This will only create another Nigerian situation in Oyo State. So, it is time to diversify and a proper good linkage is the first step in the diversification process.
“When we say we are engineering a new Oyo State, this is exactly what we mean. Indeed, we are building and designing a new Oyo State and the foundation of the design is a proper road network. This is why we did not ignore viable projects started by our predecessors.
“I am saying it today; I am giving them the credit. They started this road. We know it is very possible to play politics with this road but we would not play politics with the development of our people. I came here during my campaign and wore white cloth. By the time I finish, it turned brown. We have seen an administration in this Oyo State that said they would not complete the projects started by their predecessors but start their own projects. Yes, they started theirs and for 8 years, they could not complete what they started. This is exactly why they are confused by our style of governance.
“Like I have said in the past, we will finish all uncompleted projects, which are strategic to the development of our dear state. When we finish them, we will commission them just like we are doing now because when you are running a race, the question people often ask is not the number of those that participated but the number of people who finished the race. Then they choose winners from the people that finished the race.
“So, those talking and thinking about 2023, when they come to tell you that the Saki road was started by the past administration, tell them it does not matter who started but who finished it.
“We are here today and in just 15 months after we revoked the contract, another promise has been delivered.
“We are delivering this road at a lower cost than when it was first awarded in 2016. In physical cash going into the pocket of the state, we have saved N1bn and this is what we will continue to do – to deliver good governance to the people of Oyo State with zero wastage.
“We will continue to make Oyo State the proof that good governance is possible in Nigeria. We are kick-starting an infrastructural revolution that will make people say, once again, that they are proud of our state.
“On the request made by both the Chief Judge and Kabiyesi the Okere of Saki, we will extend the road by another 1.2 kilometres.”