Residents elated over Ogun government’s intervention in 2.5km Arepo road
Residents of Journalists’ Estate and adjourning communities in Arepo, a highbrow town, in Owode Local Council of Ogun State are elated over Governor Dapo Abiodun’s recent intervention on the 2.5km road.
Before the intervention, two past administrations in Ogun State had watched it deteriorate. Not even its elitist nature and serene ambience, which made it investors’ delight, was sufficient to attract government’s intervention.
Residents and other road users groaned over the deplorable state of the road, and prayed for help. However, help remained elusive, as initial efforts by former Governor Gbenga Daniel to construct the road in 2006 did not last for lack of proper drainage.
Also, immediate past governor, Ibikunle Amosu, re-awarded the road project to an indigenous construction firm, First August, in November 2012, to assuage residents’ plight
But non-mobilisation of the contractor after the contract award, meant that the road was left in abeyance, while the trauma of commuting continued, especially during rainy seasons.
After waiting endlessly without remedy, the umbrella body in the Arepo communities, the Arepo Central Community Development Association(ACCDA), rolled out a Fix-the-Road initiative, a palliative measure that gulped about N18 million, to ensure that the main road leading to this investment-friendly estate was not abandoned.
A resident, Michael Ugwu, told The Guardian that the effort remained a palliative measure and could not address the major issue.
It was in the midst of this milieu that Governor Abiodun showed up to provide succour. The governor had during his electioneering campaign to Arepo communities in 2019, assured residents that it wasn’t going to be business as usual.
He pledged to construct an all-season road to be completed within nine months, complemented with proper drainage and full electrification.
In January 2021, Governor Abiodun signed the contract for the Arepo road, and in April 2021, the contractor was mobilised to the site.
Speaking during the flagging off ceremony, the Ogun State Commissioner for Works, Mr Ade Akinsanya said: “The new Journalists Estate Road Arepo, will bring relief to road users along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway axis who have faced difficult times navigating their ways to their home, especially during the rainy season.
He added: “ There will be no abandonment of the project because it is well funded. It is a dualised road with medium and street lights. The water will be channeled to the proper location and into the canal. Also, along the way, there will be lay-by for transporters. The drain would be covered to serve as a walkway.”
Another resident, Mrs. Eneh Chukwu, said the quality of job done, which is close to 85 per cent completion is a superb and a study in exemplary designs and construction, which was in tandem to the governor’s promise.
“It has a well laid double lane, with culverts, rain drains, dividers, a covered deep-seated and wide drainage network, lay-by and walkway.
“The leadership of the Journalists Estate Residents Development Association (JERDA) was ever proactive and interfaced with the relevant state ministries officials on how the job could be done seamlessly,” she added.
Also expressing joy for quality of job done so far, a resident of Journalist Estate and former General Secretary of the Lagos State chapter of Nigerian Union of Journalists, Sylva Okereke, said: “Quality of materials used for the reconstruction are super-standard, hence the road would withstand the test of time. The contractor is unequalled in his choice of materials for the reconstruction works.
“The simple law of value analysis shows that by implication, the value of landed properties in and Arepo axis would shore up after the completion of the all-important community feeder road. The governor has walked his talk when he promised residents a face-lift in infrastructural development in the area.
Another resident, Soji Kamoru, said he was elated that the governor had lived up to his promise. According to him, he is eagerly waiting for its commissioning to open up the estate more.
He said: “With the quality of work done so far, I have forgotten the initial pains we all experienced during the construction. I just pray that they complete the last segments.”
Expressing his joy, Chairman of Journalists Estate Residents Association (JERDA) 1, Jide Oke,said the project showed that Governor Abiodun is a serious minded person because he gave a promise and kept it.
Oke, who is also the Vice Chairman of Arepo Central Community Development Association (ACCDA), said the scope of work is worth commending. He thanked the Governor for keeping to his promise.
The quantity surveyor and lawyer, confirmed that the project has reaced 90 per cent completion.
“I can tell you with the way the contractor is working now what is outstanding is to be delivered in a month’s time, if the contractor remains consistent with the way he has been in the last two months.
“But I think in the last couple of months, the contractor has stepped up the construction work and the supervision has been intense.
“From initial stage the project started around March or April last year and it was meant to be completed in nine months, but unfortunately it fell into the rainy period. So, the rain disturbed them.”