The Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has said that states of the federation must look inward for their survival as funds coming to them from the federation can no longer support their development projects.
Aregbesola said with Osun’s receipt of N55 million for the month of September, the message was clear that all avenues hitherto untapped must now be examined in order to sustain development initiatives.
The Governor stated this at the commencement of the reconstruction of Orita-Olaiya-Ita-Olokan Road at Olaiya Junction to commemorate the 5th year of the Aregbesola-led government in Osun.
The project is part of the designs to ensure smooth transportation within the state capital, Osogbo.
He pointed out that money coming from the Federation Account has dipped badly hence the need for people of the state to look inward in advancing the course of the state by returning to Agriculture.
He said, “We must at this point tell ourselves the truth, there is no money coming from the federation account, 34 million barrels of Nigeria’s crude oil are on the sea without buyers.
“Money coming from the Federation Account has dipped seriously and our hope for survival is in our hands, what our forefathers lived on was agriculture.
“We must now go back to the farms and work. We also need to pay our taxes so that government can meet its responsibilities. For September, our state got N55.8 million. The money we received cannot pay for the power supply by IBEDC that we use at the state Secretariat monthly”. The governor told people at the programme.
Advising people to adhere to town planning rules, Aregbesola also added that the issue of separating houses during road constructions and expansions could have been avoided if there had been strict adherence to town planning rules in the past.
He emphasised that his government regret and offer sincere sympathy to those that will be affected with the construction of the road which his administration is embarking on.
The Governor admonished those affected to see this as their own sacrifice of the present administration’s effort to enhance the status of our cities for better living conditions of the generality of the people.
Aregbesola stated that Mess rs RATCON Construction Company Limited will be undertaking the reconstruction of the road at the cost of N985,115,410.78 million.
He said, “The expansion of the road and the need to have a reasonable setback unfortunately meant that some buildings are already standing in the way and has to be separated. This could have been avoided if there had been strict adherence to town planning rules in the past.
“We regret this and offer sincere sympathy to those affected. They should see this as their own sacrifice in our efforts to beautify our city and develop a decent human environment. Nevertheless, we have set aside the sum of N392 million to the 127 people whose buildings were affected”.
The Governor appealed to people of the state to bear with government on the pains and discomforts associated with the road construction projects embarked upon, especially Gbongan-Akoda Road, noting that the delay was due to the unexpected financial challenges that befell the nation.
He assured that all the projects embarked on by his government will be completed before the end of the present administration.
The Managing Director, Messrs RATCON Construction, Engr. Fouad Howayek held that Aregbesola deserves commendation for the massive on-going road construction works in the state.
He noted that RATCON has been partner with Osun since the first term of Aregbesola’s administration in the area of rehabilitation and construction of road projects.
According to him, “This kind of unprecedented achievement recorded in the last four years is an attestation to the fact that Mr. Governor’s passion for the rapid development of the state is undisputed,” The RATCOM boss stated
Speaking earlier, the Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Works, Engr. Nurudeen Adeagbo, stressed that the dual carriage way of Olaiya-Asubiaro-Ita Olokan spanning 2.8km forms the second phase of of on-going rehabilitation of selected roads in Osogbo township.
He stated that the road could have been executed along with others in the first phase if not for the paucity of funds in the state, adding that a total of N392 million will be required to pay compensation to people whose property will be affected by the reconstruction.
Adeagbo said, “This road project is to be executed by Messrs RATCON Construction Company Ltd. The company that handled the completion of 21 selected Osogbo township roads totaling 26.69km and the on-going Bisi Akande trumpet road awarded at N29.22 billion”