Development is forever a work in progress. It is because socioeconomic growth is a continuous process and an unfolding endeavour that never ends until it is cut short by death, which means that every step in the journey to a higher level of comfort and greatness is as important and worthy as any other step. In so far as the development of infrastructure is concerned, Ogun State has never had it so good. Yes, arguably, and without any fear of equivocation.
Of course, performance assessment depends on the eyes with which individual views the development we see happening in the state under the present administration of Governor Dapo Abiodun. The fact that we see a significant transformation of the infrastructure landscape in the three senatorial districts in the state today doesn’t mean it will seem significant or even be noticeable to some other people because of the differences in our perception, our judgment, and our minds’ eyes.
We know some cynics will not even care a hoot about the current economic reality of our time as a basis for their judgements. Many perfectionists, cynics or pessimists too don’t realise the limitation of resources available at the disposal of the government at this time of the global economic meltdown. Regardless of individual opinion, bias and prejudice, there is no doubt that the Governor, Prince Abiodun, has raised the threshold of good governance in the state.
And it can only get better. For the avoidance of doubt, at no time had he said that his administration had done all the roads in Ogun State, and, of course, it is impossible to do so in a swoop by anyone no matter the quantum of resources available at a given point in time. But he has consistently assured the citizens of continuity of investment in infrastructure as a catalyst for rapid industrial growth and economic prosperity for all and sundry.
He has consistently assured them of inclusiveness in governance, open and transparent process, grassroots participation in the decision-making process as well as even and equal distribution of developmental projects. For further motivation, we must appreciate the present progress the administration has made so far while striving for a better tomorrow. In all human endeavours, it is full devotion to the present with an eye on continuing the journey forward that ensures excellence and sustained effort.
In other words, development is a continuous process that is gradual and cumulative. It is just like hiking up the mountain path: a slow, steady ascent leads to the top. Growth is imbued with hope, with ever-expanding possibilities. As can be rightly inferred from the Governor’s address during the recent commissioning of some projects, it is no longer an end to be celebrated but rather just another stepping stone on the way to bigger and better things.
You could see happiness and joy on the faces of Remo people who were present at the commissioning of the 4km Oba Erinwole Road which had become almost impassable before the coming of the present administration. Important as the road is to the economic well-being of the people of Sagamu, Ogijo and even Ikorodu in Lagos State. It was completely neglected for political pettiness.
The Akarigbo and Paramount Ruler of Remoland, Oba Babatunde Ajayi, in his keynote address at the occasion, gave testimony that the road before the reconstruction was one of the most deplorable roads in the state. The story is the same for the roads traversing Ilaro to Ilara, Ajebo to Ajenbadele, Odeda to Odogbolu, Iwopin to Iwoye, Iperu to Ipokia, Sango-Ota to Sagamu, Ijebu-Ode to Ijoko, and Igbesa to Igbogila.
It is, therefore, gratifying to note that Governor Abiodun has set the tone for a paradigm shift in governance, believing that people are the ultimate object of development. A week ago, it was a promise kept when traditional rulers, state functionaries, party faithful, and other critical stakeholders converged on Sagamu, precisely on Monday, November 21, 2022 to commission Oba Erinwole Road in fulfilment of his (Governor’s) electioneering promise to prioritize the development of road infrastructure throughout the length and breadth of the state.
The epoch-making event followed the successful completion and commissioning of Arepo Journalist Estate Road, Igan/Ishamurin/ Odo-Shikiti Road (Ago- Iwoye), Oke-Ola Road in Imeko, among others. Indeed, this year has been an allaround year of commissioning and celebration across all parts of the state. And it is just the beginning. What is more?
From now till May 29, 2023, when the curtain draws on the first tenure of the administration, there will be no dull moment again as the governor has given an assurance that there will be commissioning of, at least, one road project per week across all the three senatorial districts of the state.
He made the declaration during the commissioning ceremony to the excitement of the people. That appears to be a tall ambition, right? Yes, it is. But it is doable with the commitment of focused leadership of the governor.
To meet its aggressive and insatiable quest for infrastructural transformation, the administration has already evolved alternative financing options such as Public-Private- Partnership (PPP), the establishment of an Infrastructure Development Bond, and other initiatives to aid the delivery of the administration’s agenda for development.
With the initiative, over 80 major roads and others (Federal roads inclusive) totalling 400km have been constructed, reconstructed or rehabilitated across the state within the three and a half years of the administration.