Buhari promises timely completion of Sagamu-Benin, Lagos-Ibadan Expressways



(NAN) President Muhammadu Buhari says the Sagamu-Benin and Lagos-Ibadan Expressways, will be completed and inaugurated before the end of 2022.

Buhari gave the assurance on Thursday at the Sagamu Interchange while inaugurating the Gateway City Gate Monument Park during his one day official visit to Ogun for inauguration of five key projects.

The president lauded Gov. Dapo Abiodun for delivering visionary and trail-blazing projects for the people amidst prevailing and challenging circumstances occasioned by COVID-19 pandemic.

Describing Abiodun as ‘‘performing Governor of Nigeria’s Gateway State”,  the president further described him as “a worthy example of promises made and promises kept’’.

He said that the projects executed by the governor were lofty.

They were Gateway City Gate; the 42-Kilometre Sagamu Interchange-Abeokuta Road; the 14km Ijebu-Ode-Epe Expressway and two Housing Estates for low, medium and high income earners at Kobape and Oke-Mosan, Abeokuta.

Buhari said that the projects could not have been materialised without the state government’s huge investment and commitment to security of lives and property.

‘‘This has made Ogun one of the safest and most peaceful states in the country and investors’ destination of choice.

‘‘You (Prince Abiodun) have justified the mandate of the people of Ogun. You have represented our party very well,’’ he said.

The president expressed delight that the 14 kilometres Ijebu-Ode-Mojoda-Epe Road he earlier inaugurated on arrival in Ogun, was reconstructed into a modern expressway by the state government.

He said that the impressive road would complement the Sagamu-Benin Expressway currently being reconstructed by the Federal Government.

‘‘Just across the road is the 42 kilometres Sagamu-Interchange-Abeokuta Road, which the state government had reconstructed and equipped with street lights.

‘‘That road enjoys a direct linkage with the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway that the Federal Government is rebuilding and due for completion later this year.

‘‘I am particularly impressed by the quality and standard of your road projects and the creative way you have deployed resources to reconstruct and rehabilitate them.

‘‘It is significant to note that the two road projects being commissioned today are federal roads.

‘‘These roads also fit well into our rail transportation masterplan that connects Lagos, Nigeria’s economic capital to Kano with Ogun having more rail stations along the Lagos-Ibadan rail corridor.’’

“This is an example of constructive engagement, cooperation and collaboration between the State and Federal Governments.

‘‘When state governments deliver impactful projects in consultation with stakeholders, like we have witnessed in Ogun, the trajectory of our national development will be enhanced,” he said.

Responding to requests by Abiodun to give priority to the Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta and the Sango-Ota-Idi-Iroko Road, Buhari assured the people of the state that the roads would  receive the Federal Government’s attention.

He also announced that the Federal Government would consider extending tax credit as funding option for the reconstruction of the roads, as done for the 100 kilometres Sagamu Interchange-Papalanto-Ilaro Road.

Buhari promised to consider the approval of the reconstruction of Sagamu-Ogijo Road by the Nigerian National Petroleum Company (NNPC) under the tax credit scheme.

He appreciated the people of the state for their warm welcome.

‘‘This welcome by the large crowd brings back the nostalgia of my first arrival on this soil as a young infantry officer in the Nigerian Army at the then Lafenwa Barracks in Abeokuta, not long after independence.

‘‘The traditional hospitality of the people of this state has not waned a bit.

“Today, I am ‘Omowale’ (Child has returned home) and very happy at this homecoming to meet my brothers and sisters whose goodwill I have always enjoyed,” the president said.

Earlier, Abiodun commended the president for the support and goodwill the state had continued to enjoy from the his government.

He said that the projects executed by his administration were deliberate and guided by his vision to give Ogun a focussed and qualitative governance and create an enabling environment for a Public Private Sector Partnership to thrive.

“These are just a few of our achievements. We have so much more to showcase.

“These selected few that Your Excellency will commission are, however, symbolic of the various types of projects across all sectors of our dear state’s economy.

“It is noteworthy that all our projects have the inputs and are informed by the needs of the people as expressed by them at different engagement fora that we provide,” he said.

Abiodun explained that beyond the physical projects, his administration had also embarked on several fiscal and policy reforms to enable the effectiveness and efficiency of government.

He listed the reforms to include the reinvigoration of the Security Trust Fund; establishment of Public-Private Partnership Office; launch of Ogun Digital Economy Infrastructure Projects; and Ogun State Land Revenue and Management Systems (OLARMS).

The governor pledged that he would not take the mandate of the people of Ogun for granted. NAN)