Governor Seyi Makinde of Oyo State was, on Thursday, joined by Governor Samuel Ortom of Benue State, to flag-off the construction of the Senator Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja Government Reserved Area (GRA) and the Ibadan Circular Road.
The two governors also performed the naming ceremony of the 110km Ibadan Circular Road, which is expected to help eliminate congestion along the Lagos/Ibadan Expressway, after a former Governor of Oyo State, Senator Rashidi Ladoja.
While speaking at the event, held at Kilometre 8&10 at the Ibadan end of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Governor Makinde said building of GRAs in the state would provide more houses for the growing population.
Makinde noted: “As our city continues to grow and our economy expands, there is a constant need for housing needs to be met across income groups. And we are using various means to achieve this. We have Public-Private Partnerships whereby the government provides the land, and the private developers come in and develop it.
“We have also created new GRAs where the government partners with private firms on a site and infrastructure deal to ensure that amenities such as electricity supply from the grid, roads, water and so on are available in the GRAs and the land is sold to members of the public to develop. These arrangements are contributing to the development of our cities, while also providing more houses for the growing population and raising revenue for the government,” he explained.
The governor stated that the idea behind the Ibadan Circular Road, which was conceived by Senator Ladoja, was based on proven economic realities, adding that the road and GRA were named after Ladoja because of his contribution to the growth of Oyo State.
He revealed that the Circular Road project, which had already started, and had reached about 7.6 percent progress, was awarded Messrs. Craneburg Construction Company Limited for the sum of N35,970,200,000.19 who is expected to complete the 32km East-End Wing of the project within 12 months.
“The entire 110km project geographically situates within the Ibadan metropolis, with links to Egbeda, Ona-Ara, Lagelu, Akinyele, Ido and Oluyole Local Government Areas,” Makinde disclosed.
In his remarks, the Benue State Governor, Dr Samuel Ortom, applauded Governor Makinde, saying he had demonstrated the capacity and knowledge in developing Oyo State by providing numerous developmental projects for the good of the people of the state.
He stated: “Seyi, you have really done well. I am older than you as governor, I can say you have the knowledge and the capacity, and you have demonstrated it. This is not the first project, not the second one but several other projects you have executed and completed and others are ongoing for the benefit of your people.
“I used to wonder how you have been getting funding for all these projects. So, I have learnt from you, because you have demonstrated capacity for redefining architecture by these numerous infrastructures that you are developing in Oyo State,” Ortom commented.
On his part, Senator Rashidi Ladoja also commended Makinde who deemed it fit to honour him with the two remarkable projects, expressing the hope that the governor would, before the end of his tenure, bring a tractor assembly plant into Oyo State in order to revolutionise agriculture and ensure the state becomes the food basket of the country.
The event had in attendance the Deputy Governor of Oyo State, Bayo Lawal; Olubadan of Ibadanland, Oba Lekan Balogun; the Okere of Saki, Oba Khalid Olabisi; the Olugbon of Orile Igbon, Oba Francis Alao; religious leaders and top government functionaries, among others.