Oyo State Governor, ‘Seyi Makinde and his Osun State counterpart, Mr. Gboyega Oyetola, have concluded plans to jointly rehabilitate and reconstruct the Iwo Road interchange- to Ogunremako Junction-Lalupon, down to Iwo-Osogbo road.
The road is a major link between the neighbouring South-West states.
The Commissioners for Public Works, Infrastructure and Transport in Oyo State, Professor Daud Kehinde Sangodoyin and his Osun State counterpart, Engr. Oluremi Omowaiye, who jointly announced the historic collaboration on Monday, at a press conference held at the Oyo State Ministry of Works and Transport, Secretariat, Ibadan, said the development would enhance the quality of lives of the people.
A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to Governor Makinde, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted Sangodoyin as explaining that Oyo State will handle 29.2 kilometres of the over 80 kilometres road project.
He stated that a section of the road belongs to the Federal Government, while other parts belong to the states, adding that the Federal Government has been notified of the impending construction.
He also noted that Oyo State will take care of the section from the Iwo Road Interchange, Ibadan, to the boundary with Osun State, while Osun State will handle rest to Osogbo.
He said: “On the authority of Governor ‘Seyi Makinde and Governor Gboyega Oyetola, we are here to address the press on the joint collaboration of the proposed rehabilitation; reconstruction and overlaying of Iwo Road interchange road to Ogunremako junction, down to Lalupon, which is the boundary between Osun and Oyo States.
“On the other end of Osun State, we have the Iwo boundary down to Osogbo, which is about 69km. From the side of Oyo State, it is about 29.2km.
“The two state governors, their directors and commissioners in charge of works and transport have met and did a joint inspection of the road for the benefit of our people, and for us to be able to award the contract.”
According to Sangodoyin, the project sits right within the agenda of the Governor Makinde-led administration to take Oyo State people from poverty to prosperity and to build infrastructure that targets the economy of the state.
“One of the major benefits of the project is regional integration, using that axis. For the two states, agriculture is the only comparative advantage. So, in expanding the economy of the two states, we have to focus on agriculture and food security, and that is why we want to tap into the resources on that axis and contribute to what we call the Domestic Resource Flow, while expanding the economy.
“Also, we looked at security around that axis. By the time we reduce the infrastructure deficit around that axis, we would have improved on the security infrastructure, because, as I speak now, the road from Iwo down to Olodo is nothing to write home about.
“If we are able to cooperate with Osun State, we will be able to improve the security infrastructure.
“We are also focusing on ease-of-doing-business. There will be ease of movement of goods from Osogbo down to Ibadan. By the time we complete the project at Iwo Road, the 29.2km road and 5.5km road to Airport, Adegbayi road, we believe that it will contribute to business development around that axis.
“So, today, we felt we should come around and tell the whole world that we are brothers and are ready to partner to improve the means of livelihood of our own people.
“We have commenced the processes of awarding the Iwo Road interchange to Lalupon, the boundary between the two states and have sectionalised it into three parts.
“The first part is from Iwo Road interchange to Olodo bridge, which is 7.7km and the stretch of the bridge, which we are going to dualise, is 500 metres; from Ogunremako junction to Lalupon, which is 20.3km. In all, we are working on a 29.2km stretch and within the next few weeks, we should be able to award the contract. The two governors will come together to flag it off in due time,” Sangodoyin added.
In his remarks, the Osun State Commissioner for Works and Transport, Engr. Omowaiye, said that the Osun State government will handle 54.4km of the road that borders Oyo and Osun States.
He said: “Just like he ( his Oyo State counterpart ) said, we are brothers. For the two governors, what is important is the development of our race. Bad infrastructure does not know APC or PDP. If you look at that road, you can see an alignment of 5km stretch and that is the easiest route to Ibadan. About a year ago, we started discussion on the need to collaborate and the two governors graciously agreed.
“We all know that the two states are agrarian states and this development will allow for easy movement of agric produce on that corridor.
“Oyo State will be doing 29.2km while we will be doing 54.4km. We are taking it from Deleyesa in Osogbo to the boundary of Oyo State. “We are sending a message to the people that irrespective of party affiliation, we are brothers and the development of our states is of utmost importance.
“I can tell you we have not brought politics into this. What we want is good infrastructure. This is a good thing for the two states, which will promote commerce and agriculture as well as make movement between residents of the two states easy.”
The duo hinted that the project, upon completion, will enhance socio-economic activities, boost security and ease movement of people and goods between the two states.
They added that Oyo and Osun governments would meet again to deliberate on modalities of executing the project, amount to spend, duration and the contractor that would handle the project.
In a related development, the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrosheed Akanbi has commended the two Governors for their move to reconstruct the road.
Oluwo who spoke with journalists at his office shortly after the tour of the road said it will boost the economy of Iwo land.