One thing is to have a good vision, another thing is to have the political will or wisdom to actualize them, some African leaders have vision but lack the wisdom, ability and the courage to execute them, Engr. Seyi Makinde has no doubt proven to be one of the visionary leaders we have in this 21st century with his style of leadership and approach to governance.
On the 18th of March 2023, the good people of Oyo state, including the youth, aged, adult men and women genuinely showed Governor Seyi Makinde how much they love him with their votes in an historical elections. Makinde the people’s Governor not only got re-elected but won with wide margin in 31 LGAs out of the 33 LGAs in the state. A feat that has never happened in the political history of the state. Makinde secured over 560,000 votes as against APC’s Senator Teslim Folarin who polled over 256,685 votes, with over 300, 000 votes, Oyo residents extended the Omituntun 1.0 to Omituntun 2.0 with the aim of having more dividends of democracy as enjoyed in the first four years of Omituntun 1.0.
In his first tenure in office, as Governor of Oyo state, Engr. Seyi Makinde through his numerous people’s oriented projects touched so many lives in the state, he created enabling environment for businesses to thrive, this has resulted in many investors coming to the state to invest their money into one business or the other thereby creating more opportunities for the state and it’s residents.
Thousands of residents, mostly youths were gainfully employed through direct and indirect job opportunities, while the state enjoyed increase in Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) , a good example of this is the revamping of the moribund Fashola Farm Settlement in Oyo, Governor Makinde also gave a marching order by awarding all the roads linking the Fashola agric hub to a competent contractor to ensure that the farmers and investors have a good access road to their farmlands.
Another mouthwatering project embarked upon by Engr. Seyi Makinde led administration is the ongoing Ibadan circular road. Governor Makinde has indeed written his name in gold with the construction of Ibadan Circular road, because this project when completed will project the ancient city of Ibadan and the entire Oyo state on the global map of developed states in the west Africa sub-region. With this development, the state will be a haven for prospective foreign and local investors as it will further enhance the ease of doing business in the state.
The 110km circular road that was segmented into four sections, namely South-East(32.2km); North-East(20.8km); North-West(33.0km) and South-West(24.0km) is a by-pass for travellers, goods, and freight commuting through Ibadan along the Lagos/Ibadan Expressway linking Ibadan/Ife Expressway, Oyo, Ogbomoso, Ilorin geographically situated within Ibadan via Egbeda, Ona-Ara, Lagelu, Akinyele, Ido and Oluyole local government areas. This simply means, that the travellers coming from Lagos going to other states, like Osun, Ondo, Ekiti, Abuja and others will no longer pass through Ibadan Iwo Road axis, but will rather boycott the entire Iwo Road traffic congestion by passing through the state owned Technical University along Lagos/Ibadan Expressway and come out few Kilometers to Asejire Bridge on Ibadan/Ife road.
The main purpose of the road is to ease the traffic flow in Ibadan and open up another corridors for economic activities in the state.
Twenty years after it was conceived, Engr. Seyi Makinde being a visionary leader saw the need to actualize the dreams of many oyo residents by awarding Ibadan circular road to a competent construction firm in 2022. The 110-kilometer road which was named after the former governor of the state, Senator Rashidi Ladoja by Engr. Seyi Makinde in honour of the former governor(Ladoja) who conceived the project when he was the governor of the state will no doubt bring more development to Oyo state when completed.
According to the Project Engineer, working with the construction firm handling the project, (Craneberg Construction) Engineer Fadi Khalil in a recent engagement with journalists who visited the site noted that the quality and specification of the road will make it different from other roads. Fadi said, “Our project is six bridges and interchanges, the bridges are found on Lagos/Ibadan expressway end and and Ibadan/Ife express end.”
“We are trying our best to ensure the bridges are of international standard. Four bridges have been completed while two other ones are ninety percent completed. In one and half months, the remaining two will be completed. Nothing is delaying us, the next step is for us to give the final touch and the next step is for the government to commence work on the construction of the road after the completion of the bridges.”
“The most important thing is that the road is linking Ibadan to the Lagos express way and Ibadan to Ife express way faster than playing through the major road within Ibadan city and will decongest traffic in the city. This circular road will enhance fast movement. The six bridges are required because it’s a new road which had nothing on it before. These bridges are needed because it will provide easy access to motorists to cross the rivers and streets where the road passes through. By the grace of God, we are going to deliver these projects (bridges and interchanges) by December this year, I’m not talking about the road itself. The road is a different project on it own. The bridges of quality standard, we don’t do sub-standard jobs, the bridges do not require any maintenance after completion.”
“We thank Oyo State Government for their support and cooperation, we work together, if we don’t work together, we can’t deliver anything. They awarded the contract and our duty is to execute the project. But generally, if we didn’t get the needed support from the government and from our supervisor which is the Ministry of Public Works, Infrastructure and Transport, we cannot deliver anything. We have been working together and without their cooperation, we can’t deliver anything.” Fadi said.
After the inspection of the road by Governor Makinde sometimes in December 2023, the then commissioner for works while briefing journalists about the update of the road noted that construction of six bridges, including two interchanges on the East End Wing which 32 kilometers of the road has been awarded to Craneburg Construction company, stressing that the bridges and the interchanges should be completed by June this year.
He noted that the 110-kilomwters circular road project is a concession which has evolved after three attempts spanning many administrations since 2003. He said, “the current approach guarantees Oyo state government counterpart funding to the tune of N35.97billion. This counterpart funding, seeded into the project to show Oyo state government’s commitment to improving investor/concessionaire confidence, is currently being used to execute the interchange and bridges scope the 32-kilometers South-East segment of the road at about 30 per cent progress to date.”
Sangodoyin in his words then, said the overall project is currently in value engineering phase to optimise previous design.”
Governor Makinde while reawarding the long awaited road project in September 2022 said his administration is giving new life to the road, assuring the people of Oyo state that when the project is completed, it will solve the problem of traffic congestion in Ibadan and improve the economic wellbeing of the people.
The governor while fielding questions from the newsmen on the ongoing Ibadan circular road earlier this July said, “So far so good we are making progress as far as this project is concerned, we now have interested investors coming around to say what exactly are we projecting in terms of opportunities in the state. To our people, I will say we have many opportunities around here, especially for our young folks, they should not Japa because if they are hardworking, they can contribute and get their rewards. So I will say we are creating opportunities across the spectrum and people are paying attention to what we are doing.”
Comrade Ayobami Olusegun Adeogun, the NULGE President, Oyo state Chapter, while speaking on the circular road commended Engr. Seyi Makinde for commencement of work on the road, as well naming the road after the former governor, Senator Rashidi Ladoja.
He said, “This second term will be greater than the first term, our hope is rising and we believe that this second term will be more greater than the first term.I’m strongly believe that this circular road project will be accomplish before the end of this administration, we all strongly believe that before the end of this second term the project will be completed.”
“If you’re coming from Lagos you don’t need to get to toll gate or getting to Iwo Road, so we are applauding him for what he has commenced and we are praying for him on the successfully completion of the project, the road will no doubt bring drastically to Ibadan and most especially the local government areas it passes, it will enhance the economic status of that area and the state at large and with this more investors will be coming to invest in the state and this will be a plus for the state as the internally generated revenue will be boosted.”
“The circular roads is domiciled in some wards, local government and whatever goodness that the road will bring for the state the residents in that local government areas will be direct beneficiaries, so it is a good development for the state.” He said.