The Governor of Osun, Ogbeni Rauf Aregbesola has disclosed that a sum N350m has been spent by his administration on the construction of four modern markets in the state capital.
Aregbesola also revealed that his government has disbursed a sum of N28m as compensation to people whose properties and means of livelihood have been affected by the ongoing construction of rural roads across the state.
The Governor stated this at the flag-off ceremony for the Payment of Compensation to Project Affected Persons (PAPs) on Rural Access and Mobility Project Roads Construction (RAMP) and Opening of the Four Newly Constructed Markets, at the new yam market, Awosuru, Alekuwodo Area, Osogbo.
The Governor who described good roads as prerequisite mechanism to socioeconomic development in the society, said the massive construction of rural roads by the present administration was aimed to facilitate his vision at turning the state to the food basket of the nation.
The Governor said as part of his government’s determination to turn Osun to a commercial hub of the southwestern region, his government has mustered necessary efforts to enhance massive construction and establishment of the state-of-the-art modern markets and commercial centres in the state.
Aregbesola said the new markets located at different parts of the state capital were established to turn the state into economic hub of the country, saying with the inauguration of modern markets, consumers of goods will be attracted to the markets because of their modern facilities.
He expressed delight on the springing up of new markets, saying the new ideas would set the tone for quick economic recovery of the state and as well boost the Internally Generated Revenue considerably.
Aregbesola said, “these markets will now be the point of commercial activities in the state as it will equally be the center of attraction for business activities from within and outside the country.
“we are very delighted to achieve this in the process of renewing our major cities. With this, we can boldly say we are killing two birds with a stone~beautifying our cities and trying to boost the economy through construction of modern markets”
“Good and decent markets is mutually beneficial for both the sellers and buyers of goods.
“With this giant stride, our market men and women now have decent and clean shops to display their goods while meeting the choice of the consumers towards clean environment.
Speaking on the construction of rural roads which the state had embarked upon in collaboration with the World Bank and the French Development Agency, the Governor stressed that it is the determination of his administration to spare no effort at developing rural areas just as much is being done in the urban centres.
He revealed that his government decided to partner the World Bank and French Development Agency on the need to facilitate the construction of standard roads across the communities and villages in the state in order to promote agricultural sector.
Aregbesola emphasized benefits attached to good roads most especially in the local communities, stressing that greater achievement on this motive usually enhance easy transportation of farm produce from rural areas to urban centres.
Governor Aregbesola who lamented over the nation’s over-reliance on crude oil, said no stone will be left unturned to ensure adequate resuscitation of agricultural sector in the state.
He insisted that for the nation to get out of the economic woes being currently experienced, all hands must be on deck to shift attention to non-oil sectors especially agriculture.
The Governor therefore expressed delight in the fact that most of the rural roads being constructed across the rural communities have been serving as linkage connecting many rural areas to urban cities for the realization of possible beneficial integration, economic growth and development.
He said, “roads construction should not only be limited to the urban centers, rural areas also needs to be given attention especially on the need to boost agricultural productivity.
“Farmers need to find it easy in conveying their farm produce to the markets, that is why we have collaborated with Word Bank and French Development Agency to construct rural roads for the benefit of our farmers.
“We are also happy to know that the construction of these rural roads have helped in connecting many rural communities not only to one another, but to urban cities which have been disconnected as a result of bad roads over the years”, he added.
Meanwhile, the state helmsman however handed over house keys to three of the claimants whose buildings were separated from the ongoing rural roads construction, while others were given cheques as compensation.
Earlier, Olura of Ira Arakeji, Oba Julius Fatanmi who spoke on behalf of other Royal fathers commended the efforts of the state government in developing the rural areas through the construction of roads.
He said the efforts of the present administration had significantly changed the lives of many farmers in the state and at the same open-up many rural communities which have been abandoned as a result of bad roads.
“Aregbesola’s efforts is unprecedented and we will forever be grateful for his good gestures as our communities are now very accessible just as new buildings are springing up here and there as roads connecting us to one another have been opened up.
“Our farm produce now attract good prices in the markets because we farmers are no longer scared that our goods will get spoilt before being conveyed to the markets”, the monarch added.
In their separate remarks, the President General of the Market Women Association in the state, Alhaja Awawu Asindemade; Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Lands, Physical Planning and Urban Development, Arch. Wale Ojo and Coordinating Director, Ministry of Industries, Commerce, Cooperatives and Empowerment, Mr. Abimbola Oso, lauded Governor Aregbesola for extending his kind gestures to the rural dwellers.
The trio confirmed that the present administration has in no doubt changed the face of commerce in the state through its greater contributions to state’s economy.
They described Governor Aregbesola as rural developer and transformer, noting that the development of grassroots and the urban centers had ever remained the priority of the current government.
According to Arch. Wale Ojo, “Obviously the quest for the rural people has already been entrenched in the six-point integral action-plan of this administration which is centered on the emancipation of the rural poor dwellers through the provision of good roads, farm inputs, land as well as the provision of loans to farmers.
“Though the implementation of the Urban Renewal Project in the state capital and some major cities led to the displacement of many traders, thus informed the government on the need to urgently establish ultra modern markets to cushion the effect.
On his part, Mr. Abimbola Oso said, “As for me, the relocation of some of our markets are bold steps taken by the state government to ensure that sanity and modernization are brought to commercial activities in the state.
“The urban renewal project for instance is an irreversible course because with this step, Osogbo is already wearing a new look and it is imperative to make a passionate appeal to all for whom these new markets have been provided to move in immediately.
Meanwhile, the newly opened markets are the yam market at Awosuru, the provision market at Igbo Kenya, the building materials market and the new MDS market at Ido Osun.
As part of the occasion were, the presentation of keys on the newly built houses to people whose houses were affected as a result of the construction of rural roads at Yinmi Aba and Gbengbeleku as well as the presentation of cheques to farmers whose farms were affected.