President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Senator Bola Ahmed Tinubu, has lauded the Oyo State governor, ‘Seyi Makinde, for being a collaborative partner with the Federal Government in the area of building road infrastructure to connect communities and open the state up to commerce and economic opportunities that will lift people out of poverty.

The President, who was represented by the Vice-President, Senator Kashim Shettima, stated this at the commissioning of the 76.67km Iseyin-Fapote-Ogbomoso Road named Adebayo Alao-Akala Memorial Highway.

Shettima conveyed the greetings of President Tinubu, noting that the Federal Government would support Oyo State to achieve its full potential as an agriculture hub in the country, especially in the agro-industrial sector.

According to him, posterity would be kind to Governor Makinde for building such a huge legacy project that connects communities in Oyo State, opens the state to economic opportunities and also links the state to a major geopolitical zone of the country.

Shettima, who described the project as an exemplary project for every state and every Nigerian who is committed to the development of the nation, said: “I am honored to convey the goodwill of the Nigerian President, on whose behalf I was sent before you today.

“In governance, we must know that it is the convergence of many parts that forms a cohesive whole. A nation can only thrive when each state builds essential infrastructure to facilitate our daily lives.

“So, I want to appreciate Governor Makinde, on behalf of the President, for not only being a collaborative partner but for also erecting such a capital project.

“I thank the people of Oyo State for their warm reception and it is not coming as a surprise. I know Oyo State is not only a land of hospitality but a Pacesetter for the entire nation.

“Today, we gather to celebrate a tradition of excellence for which Oyo State is known. Governor Makinde has exemplified that well-constructed networks of road serves as the gateway to the economy of the nation.

“The 76.67km Alao Akala Memorial Highway, which we are here to commission, connects communities within the state and also serves as a vital link to another geo-political zone in our nation. This project will activate the economy of the surroundings by linking producers to markets, workers to job opportunities and students to schools.

“I salute the governor for his dedication to leaving behind a legacy project. My brother, posterity will be kind to you.

“I promise that President Tinubu will support you for the agricultural transformation, especially in the agro-industrial hub.”

Speaking earlier, Governor Makinde, who had at the event been conferred with the Award of Honourable Life Member of LAUTECH by students of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH), Ogbomoso, welcomed the Vice-President to Oyo State.

The governor said his drive to build roads that interconnect all the five zones of the state is energised by his belief that where roads go, development follows.

He added that his administration’s focus to spread development all around the state has been yielding positive result, as the revenues accruing to the state no longer come from one source.

Makinde said: “Where road goes, development follows. This is the mantra that has continued to support our continuous drive to build road infrastructure that interconnects all zones of our dear state.

“Back in 2021, we started with the commissioning of the 65km Moniya-Iseyin Road. Then, we moved to Oyo. With the approval of the Federal Government, we completed and commissioned the 34.85km Oyo-Iseyin road. We realised that there was no road connecting Ogbomoso zone to Oke-Ogun zone. So, we envisioned this project, which we are delivering to you today.

“Well, we are still working, because we are going to link Ibarapa zone to Ibadan. So, we are working currently on the 48km Ido-Eruwa road and we will deliver within the next eight months.

“Our focus has always been to ensure that we spread development all around. Gone are the days when all our IGR would come from only one zone.

“Yesterday night, I slept at Fasola, in the Oyo zone. So, we have a big development there at Fasola Agribusiness Industrial Hub, which hosts several large and medium scale international and national businesses.

“We are going to commence something similar in Eruwa and Ijaiye, which will happen this year.

“So, we will continue to reduce our infrastructural deficit and move more of our people from poverty to prosperity.

“As we celebrate five years of Omituntun in Oyo State, our solemn pledge is to continue to do everything within our power to bring development to our people.

“I want to once again thank the Vice President for coming here to celebrate with us today including all our guests from far and near, who have continued to identify with our progress in the state.”

The governor also used the occasion to invite local and foreign investors to Oyo State, stating that his government would listen to them and support them with necessary policies and infrastructure to make their businesses succeed.

Earlier, a former Military Governor of Oyo and Ogun states, General Oladayo Popoola and Mrs. Oluwakemi Alao-Akala, a wife of the former governor, appreciated Governor Makinde for the landmark project and for immortalising the former governor of Ogbomoso extraction.

Also in their separate goodwill messages, co-chairman, Oyo State Elders’ Council, Dr Saka Balogun and chairperson, Association of Professional Women Engineers, Engr (Mrs) Raheemah Adabanija, lauded the governor for constructing the longest distance of road in the state in the last 26 years.

In his speech at the event, the Commissioner for Public Works, Infrastructure and Transport, Prof. Dahud Kehinde Shangodoyin, described the project as an incontestable economic impetus for the sustainable development of the state.

He noted that the road provided direct link between Oke Ogun and Ogbomoso, and gives easy access to the LAUTECH College of Agriculture and Renewable Natural Resources and that the successful completion has brought to fruition the vision of the governor to interconnect all the zones without leaving any zone behind.

According to the commissioner, the administration has fixed over 297.29 kilometres of roads in five years, while many others are ongoing.

Equally, the two contractors that handled the project, Messrs KOPEK and Messrs Craneburg commended Governor Makinde for delivering what they described as a legacy project initiated, executed and completed by the administration.

The event was attended by the Chairman, Nigeria Governors’ Forum and Kwara State Governor, Alhaji Abdulrahman Abdulrazak; Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Barr. Bayo Lawal; former First Lady of Oyo State, Chief (Mrs) Mutiat Ladoja; Acting PDP National Chairman, Ambassador Umar Iliya Damagum; PDP Deputy National Chairman (South), Ambassador Taofeek Arapaja; former Deputy Governors of Oyo State, Engr. Hamid Gbadamosi and Alhaji Hazeem Gbolarunmi.

Also in attendance were the Speaker of the Oyo State House of Assembly, Rt. Hon. Adebo Ogundoyin; Chief Judge of Oyo State, Justice Iyabo Yerima; Secretary to the State Government, Prof. Olanike Adeyemo; Chief of Staff to the Governor, Hon. Segun Ogunwuyi and the Head of Service, Mrs Olubunmi Oni.

Aare Musulumi of Yorubaland, Edo and Delta states, Alhaji Dawud Makanjuola Akinola; representatives of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Oyo State chapter; foremost traditional rulers in the state; governorship candidate of the PDP in Ondo State, Chief Agboola Ajayi; Ogun State PDP governorship candidate for the 2023 election, Hon. Ladi Adebutu; Senator representing Oyo North Senatorial District, Senator Fatai Buhari were also in attendance.

Other dignitaries in attendance include member representing Ogbomoso South/Ogbomoso North Federal Constituency, Honourable Olamijuwonlo Alao-Akala; member representing Surulere/Ogooluwa Federal Constituency, Hon. Sunday Makanjuola; member representing Ibadan South-West/ North-West Federal Constituency, Honourable Stanley Adedeji; member representing Oyo Federal Constituency, Hon. Akeem Adeyemi; member representing Akinyele/Lagelu Federal Constituency, Hon. Wasiu Lafioye; member representing Ido/Ibarapa East Federal Constituency, Hon. Remi Oseni; member representing Irepo/Olorunsogo/Oorelope Federal Constituency, Hon. Olaide Mohammed and traditional rulers.

Signed

Sulaimon Olanrewaju

Special Adviser (Media) to Oyo State Governor

May 30, 2024.