Report on Interest

FG delaying Lagos-Abeokuta-Ifo road reconstruction- Ogun governor, Abiodun

By News Desk

Apparently responding to motorist lamentations over continued delay in reconstruction of Lagos-Abeokuta-Ifo road, Ogun State Governor, Dapo Abiodun, has disclosed that Federal Government was yet to issue approval to them for work to commence on the project.

Abiodun assured that when the project is approved by the apex government, work would commence immediately because his Lagos State counterpart, Babajide Sanwo-Olu is committed to the actualisation of the project.

The governor stated this at a 2-day Executive Council Strategy Session with the theme: “Building our Future Together” held at the TTC, Ogere, Ikenne Local Government Area,

He revealed reasons for the delay while reeling out achievements recorded under his administration and plans it has to improve the standard of living for residents in the state.

“Our State and Lagos State are on the verge of obtaining approval from the Federal Government for the construction of the Abeokuta-Ifo-Lagos Road, adding that the Ijebu-Ode-Epe Road would be constructed to provide an alternative route to the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway”.

He said Ogun State has keyed into and benefited from the various Central Bank of Nigeria programmes, including the Anchor Borrower’s Programme and Artisans’ Training, adding that State has been made the headquarters of the Southwest Anchor Borrower’s Programme, while two educational institutions have been designated to serve as centres for artisans’ training.
The Governor, while explaining some of the interventions made across sectors, said the renovation has been carried out in 236 primary schools in each of the wards in the State, renovation of health facilities, setting up of the OgunTECHHUB, rehabilitation of township roads, among others.
In her remark, the Deputy Governor, Noimot Salako-Oyedele, said it was a parley meant for brainstorming on the policy framework of the administration and come up with ways to achieve them.
Presenting the topic, “Effective Governance and Policies in a Subnational,” the Guest Speaker and Executive Vice Chairman, Ibadan School of Government and Public Policy, Prof. Tunji Olaopa, opined that for meaningful development to take place in the State, the administration must develop change management programmes to deliver its vision and strategy indicating programme points, sequence and phases.
He said it was imperative the administration build multi-stakeholders, improve on the ease of doing business, get the civil service on a performance mode by using the productivity-and-reward system, result-based budgeting and evidence-based performance, adding that it was also important to engage citizens, especially the youth, via social media.
Speaking on the topic, “Overview of the Nigerian Macro-Economic Environment: Key Implications for Ogun State,” the Chairman, Nigeria Economic Advisory Council, Dr. Doyin Salami and a renowned financial expert, Bismarch Rewane, observed that lack of funds has contributed to the slow pace of development in the Country as a paltry sum of N60bn was the yearly budget of the Federal, State and Local Governments.
They argued that for the State to witness any meaningful economic development, there must be concerted efforts by the government to reduce the cost of governance by 15 per cent, rehabilitate bad roads, refurbish and build modern health facilities, develop a partnership with the private sector, and encourage vocational and technical training.
They were also of the view that the State would get more funds to carry out its developmental programmes by taking Bond, refinance existing debts with cheaper and longer maturities, source for cheap funds as well as focus on what the State has comparative advantage on, enjoining the administration to “spend much, but spend smartly.”
Others who spoke at the retreat include the Secretary to the State Government, Olatokunbo Talabi who took the participants on the topic, “Understanding Key Roles and Responsibilities within the State;” the Head of Service, Amope Chokor who introduced the State Civil Service structure; and the Commissioner for Finance and Economic Adviser, Dapo Okubadejo who spoke on the administration’s “Building our Future Together” agenda and the development pillars and key priorities for the next four years.

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