By Ayobami Agboola, Osogbo
The Osun State Commissioner for Works and Transport, Engineer Oluremi Omowaiye, has assured the residents of the state that the ongoing iconic Olaiya flyover bridge would be completed at the stipulated time.
Omowaiye said the bridge, which its construction started about eight months ago, has unprecedentedly reached 80 percent completion with efforts on top gear for the timely completion of the project without compromising standards of any sort.
Omowaiye made this known while fielding questions from journalists in his office, Osogbo.
The Commissioner said the contractors handling the project are working assiduously to ensure they meet up with the deadline.
He, however, hinted that though, the esthetics and modifications of the bridge environment may cause a little delay, which according to him should not exceed December.
“But all the civil works will be completed at the said time. We just want to introduce additional features.
“I want to assure everyone that the flyover is going to have a lot of esthetics. There is going to be a lot of esthetics at the corridor and this may drag the finishing of the project to December. But all the civil works will be completed at the said time. We just want to introduce additional features. All in all, I can assure you that by the end of the year, the flyover will be ready for vehicular movement.”
He also dismissed the insinuation that the bridge is too narrow to contain two cars.
Omowaiye said: “The width is about 10 and that’s what’s required for that place. Go and look at the bridge in Mokola, go and look at the one in Ikeja; they are not even as wide as ours under discourse here. That the opposition is saying something does not mean that it is right.
“It is our social responsibility that we verify what’s standard. There’s no need for us to do what is not required. It would just be a waste of resources.
“The contractor has proven himself capable. For instance, I just told you that we are 80% completion under 8 months. That is unprecedented in Nigeria. Where have they done such? It’s not about us impressing people but to make sure we deliver the right time with standardized standards.
“However, beyond us providing a flyover bridge we feel we need to improve on the esthetics. And there are some adjoining road around Olaiya that were not factored in in the initial plan. For example, if you get to Zenith Bank side we made it bypass but the road is bad now, so we decided we would pave Zenith Bank – Baptist Church – Odi Olowo sides of the road.
The Commissioner went on to reveal that the Ministry met a huge infrastructure challenges in the state from the inception which in actuality accumulated pressures on the Ministry as a lot of covets, bridges and roads in the state were in dilapidated state but as a government, he acknowledged they were going to find a way to fix them.
“Even in advance nations they keep improving on what they have. We are also trying our best. I can say we have done a lot. Part of the driving force is that we didn’t just start picking roads. When we came in, the Governor went round to towns under the “Thank You” tours and got citizens’ needs.
“An international organization also did Citizens Needs Assessment (in the state) and have it sent to us. So based on these, we picked roads based on their prominence on the Citizens’ Needs Requests. Thus we have fixed a lot of roads across the state.
“Some roads are ongoing, some have been completed; and in few days we hope and intend to start (doing) more.
Omowaiye however refuted the allegation that there is no improvement on Old Garage/Kwara boundary and Gbongan/Akoda road projects , initiated by the former Governor Rauf Aregbesola, describing it as a false.
“The Claim that there was no improvement on the road projects initiated by the former Governor is not true. We met, Gbongan – Akoda road at 29% and we have taken it to 40%. If we abandoned it (as alleged) we wouldn’t have taken it that far.
“Take Ona Baba Ona for instance, from Ilesha Garage we have done about 8 kilometers single lane to Stadium (Omo West Stadium). We are working on moving to the other lane.
“Also on Osogbo – Ila Odo, we initially had issues with the contractor but we have solved it. And we have provided resources that are needed to do the dual road to Ikirun from where the last administration stopped. So we are not abandoning any projects.
“Don’t forget we are three years in office. Some of these projects were awarded 2012/2013 so, the fact that they are yet to be completed are not our fault but we ensure some things are being done. If you go there now you will see that the contractors are there.”
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