New 76.7km Iseyin- Fapote-Ogbomoso road: Highway to improved trade, commerce in Oyo

With the completion of the 76.7 kilometers Iseyin-Fapote-Ogbomoso Road, which is to be commissioned today by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in Oyo State, the administration of Governor Seyi Makinde of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party

No doubt the completion of the 76.7 kilometers Iseyin-Fapote-Ogbomoso Road constructed by Governor Seyi Makinde, will change the socio-economic lives of the members of over 30 communities along the path. Seye Olumide examines the mood of the beneficiaries and how their lives are already being transformed by the project.

With the completion of the 76.7 kilometers Iseyin-Fapote-Ogbomoso Road, which is to be commissioned today by President Bola Ahmed Tinubu, in Oyo State, the administration of Governor Seyi Makinde of the ruling Peoples Democratic Party (PDP), has successfully constructed and rehabilitated over 600 kilometers of roads within five years (2019-2024).
A record, which has surpassed that of his predecessors, in the history of Oyo and especially in the last 25 years (1999 to 2024) of democratic governance. Makinde’s immediate predecessor, the late Abiola Ajimobi of the All Progressives Congress (APC), constructed an estimated 200 kilometers of roads including the Mokola Flyover, the first of its kind in Oyo. These were achieved within the eight years of Ajimobi’s rule.
The late Governor Adebayo Alao-Akala, who governed Oyo from 2007 to 2011 was said to have allegedly constructed over 33 kilometers of road before he was defeated by Ajimobi in the 2011 gubernatorial poll.
What is however unique about the road that President Tinubu is commissioning today, is that the Iseyin-Fapote-Ogbomoso Road was conceived, constructed and completed by Makinde. As many respondents confirmed to The Guardian Newspapers during a visit and inspection of the project last Saturday, “The road was built and completed on virgin land by the incumbent administration,” the confirmed. 
The flyovers and bridges were awarded by the Oyo State Government to Kopek Construction Ltd and Craneburg Construction Ltd. The Iseyin-Fapote-Ogbomoso Road is a major road project that connects the Ogbomoso and Oke Ogun Zones of Oyo State.
The Iseyin end of the road was handled by Kopek Construction Ltd, which covers Iseyin-Apewo Village and includes a 65m-span bridge, while the Ogbomoso end was handled by Craneburg Construction Ltd., from Apewo Village-Ogbomoso and includes a 45m-bridge and an underpass.
The 76.7km long road provides easy access between the Ogbomoso and Iseyin campuses of the Ladoke Akintola University of Technology (LAUTECH). Though the raid was awarded in December 2021 at the cost of N43.1 billion it was completed in March 2024 as initially estimated.
Another unique aspect of the Iseyin-Fapote-Ogbomoso Road is that it is one of the major roads connecting the five zones in Oyo State. The Ibadan and Oke Ogun zones, Oyo and Oke-Ogun zones, and Ibarapa and Oke-Ogun zones have been linked. The Ibadan and Ibarapa zones are currently being linked.
In the past five years in Oyo, Governor Makinde has ensured the construction and rehabilitation of intra and inter-cities roads across the 33 local governments and major ones across the three senatorial districts.
Some of the roads are; Moniya-Iseyin road (completed), Theophilus Akinyele Way, (completed) Onipepeye road,(completed), Oyo-Iseyin road, (completed), Ibadan-Airport road (completed) Olorunsogo-Akanran road, (ongoing)), Eruwa road (ongoing) to mention but few.

The development has endeared the present administration to the heart of the people, one of the major factors that moved the electorate in Oyo to re-elect Governor Makinde massively during the 2023 gubernatorial poll in which the incumbent trashed his major opponent and rival, Senator Teslim Folarin of the APC in 31 local governments out of the existing 33.
How ifa (oracle) predicted construction of Iseyin-Fapote-Ogbomoso Road over 15 years ago
While eulogizing Makinde over the construction of the road, an herbalist/ hotelier, the Adimula of Iseyin Land, High Chief Ifasoji Fashola, disclosed how ifa predicted the construction of the highway over 20 years ago when the entire stretch of the land from Iseyin to Ogbomoso was a thick forest. 
He said no one then could ever think that a 76.7 kilometers road would pass through the place “but then the oracle told me through divination that a road would lead to Ogbomoso from Iseyin along the path. I then started a hotel project on this route. People thought I was a mad nut then I believed what the oracle said and it has become reality today through Governor Makinde.
“Some of my friends even mocked me that I was building a hotel for ghosts and that continued until we heard that Governor Makinde wanted to build this road. No one thought that any government would open this road in 20 or 30 years because it is a new road. It was a surprise to us. Let me also say that when I started building the hotel, people said I should use all my land and I told them that Ifa said a road would pass through here and I didn’t want to have any issue. When they were opening the road; the contractors were surprised that I left a wide setback.”
He said the road had already boosted the economic impact within the communities and people are now scrambling to buy landed property. “The road has also reduced the stress of going through Oyo to access Ogbomoso and Ilorin. Now, anyone going to Ogbomoso or Ilorin will just go straight. We are grateful to the governor for his commitment to developing the state.”
Speaking on the economic impacts of the road, a former Commissioner for Works, Oyo State, Prof. Raphael Afonja, lauded the policy of Makinde on infrastructural development.   
He said the road is a great boost to economic activities along the path, especially agricultural products, which in the past used to get spoiled due to inaccessible roads to Oyo, Ibadan and Ogbomoso markets.
He said the baseline behind Governor Makinde’s vision on infrastructure development is to connect Oyo State to enable farmers, business owners, miners and all that have access to opportunities that can make the state economically viable.
According to him, “Opening new roads means giving people the opportunity to have access to new spaces, new lands in places that have never been looked at as places where there can be opportunities or host some kind of businesses.
“I am big on manufacturing and I think it is about time we encouraged manufacturers to bring their businesses to Oyo State.”

How the road will boost transportation business
The Chairman, Park Management Services (PNS), Iseyin branch Unit 2, Alhaji Rafiu Elewa, described the road as a booster to the transportation business. He disclosed that many of their members who had been out of jobs have returned to their driving business because of the new road. He also disclosed that many more are now investing in transportation businesses along the path. 
“We are very happy with the construction of this road and we pray that his good works will continue. We know the impact the road will have in our lives.
“We appreciate this because it used to take drivers four to five hours to get to Ilorin. We used to first go to Oyo and then to Ogbomoso to connect Ilorin and everyone knows the state of that road. We never thought we could ever travel to Ogbomoso or Ilorin without first reaching Oyo, but that has happened now. The people of Oke-Ogun are happy with this development.

“Now, in one hour and thirty minutes, we can get to Ogbomoso from here. And for those going to Ilorin, it could take up to 2 hrs. So, we commend Governor
Makinde for this great feat, which will affect our lives positively.

“Since the government completed the road, it has gained more traffic as people now prefer to pass through the route. Those coming from the North and other parts of South-West now use the road, because it is easy for them.”

AT AGIP Area, Iseyin, where the road construction commenced, a trader, Lateef Suliyat, said, “You need to imagine the dust before the Iseyin-Fapote-Ogbomoso Road was fixed. We had no other choice than to continue to trade even with the bad condition of the road back then. You know, we had to survive.
“What I did was to make sure clothing materials, especially white ones, are not exposed so that they don’t become dirty or rough before customers buy them. But with the road done by the government, things have changed. We appreciate Governor Makinde for fixing the road for us.”
Another elder, who had lived all his life in Iseyin, Alhaji Salaudeen Bamidele, told The Guardian Newspapers that it still looks like a dream that a road goes from here to Ogbomoso. “We’ve been hearing for over 30 years but no action, so when Governor Makinde said he would do it, to us it sounded like a campaign promise as usual. Though some structures were affected, we appreciate the development that we are witnessing today in Iseyin.”
At Ahoro Dada, one of the communities along the road, Adeleye Akinkunmi, popularly called King of Boys, said, “I was born in Ahoro Dada and I had my education here before I left for Ogbomoso. From here to Ogbomoso, there used to be only one way; we used to go to Odo-Oba first before we could access Ogbomoso. But when the Governor did this road, we were very happy with the development. Look at this new road; it used to be a thick forest. There was no road here before, not even a footpath. Now, the bush has been turned into a road.

“Before the road was done, a plot of land used to be sold for N70,000, but now that development has come, the price has gone to N200,000.” Akinkunmi said that Governor Makinde has indirectly prepared the ground for whosoever he is going to present as his successor to continue with the good job he is doing because we are going to support that person.
To the people of Ogbomoso, the road would keep in memory the legacy of the former governor, the late Adebayo Alao-Akala, after whom the road is likely going to be named.  Notwithstanding the encomiums, some critics faulted the N43.1 billion cost of the project as being on the high side.



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