It is common practice, that all over the world, provision of infrastructure is cardinal to good governance. This perhaps explains why governments all over the world and at all levels, places it on their topmost agenda.
Infrastructure like; Roads, Portable Water supply, Electricity, among several others remain key issues of development. Apart from being evidences of development, they also enhance both economic and social lives of the people.
A hitherto unknown settlement can be advertised by a mere link through a good road. Little wonder, many communities in Nigeria will stop at nothing to have government come to their aid by fixing their roads as it will instantly open such communities to opportunities and enhance their socio-economic status.
It is equally true that bad roads are responsible for most of the accidents that happen on our roads. At the same time, bad roads hasten the process of tear and wear of vehicles and impoverish the owners.
Also, pothole infested roads, are increasingly becoming the operational zones of criminals particularly, armed robbers.
This is true of the Obajana-Oshokoshoko-Kabba-Mopa-Isanlu-Egbe road. That is a Federal road that links most parts of the West Senatorial District to the rest part of Kogi State. It is also the fastest link between Kwara State and Kogi State.
The road for a long time has been in a deplorable state and it has also become a safe haven for armed bandits who subject motorists still plying the route to harrowing experiences.
First constructed in 1974/75, the road boosted economic activities in the whole of the present Kogi West Senatorial District. This district consists mainly of rural communities whose main occupation is Agriculture. With the deplorable condition of the road, the farmers faced a lot of economic hardship as they were finding it difficult to transport their products to the markets.
Also, because of the high volume of traffic that the road used to enjoy, there were substantial number of eateries on the stretch of road which were stop over points for motorists. But today, many of the eatery operators have either closed shop or been forced to scale down on their operation.
The only good portion of the road is that which was undertaken by Dangote Group of Companies from Kabba – Junction to the Dangote Cement Factory site at Obajana.
There is no doubt that activities in the Cement Company also contributed in no small measure to the increase in the volume of traffic, particularly heavy duty vehicles on the road. Thus, putting more pressure on the road. The company itself has lost many of its articulated trucks to the road via accidents.
The State Governor, Captain Idris Wada, who has obviously been worried about the deplorable state of the road never rested on the matter as literally, he was constantly on his knees at every opportunity he had publicly begging President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan and also appealing to the Federal Government to make the road a priority in 2013 considering its social and economic importance.
The news of the approval of the Ilorin-Omuaran-Kabba Road by the Federal Executive Council with a completion period of 36 months at a cost of N8,217,373,106.17
was therefore received with an out pouring of unprecedented Joy over what the Kogi State Deputy Governor Yomi Awoniyi described as an unbelievable gesture of the federal government.
Yomi Awoniyi commended the Federal Executive Council for the approval given to the rehabilitation of Ilorin – Omuaran – Kabba road in Kwara and Kogi States.
Awoniyi described the approval for the road repairs as timely adding that it would help reduce the sufferings faced by the people of Kabba, Ijumu, Mopa, Yagba East and West Local Government Areas.
The approval Awoniyi, explained followed several appeals made by the State Government under the leadership of Capt. Idris Wada, and other prominent sons and daughters of the Western Senatorial Districts of the State.
Awoniyi said the appeal to fix the road was constantly made by Capt. Idris Wada since he noticed the dilapidated nature of the road during the electioneering campaign in 2011. He described the approval as the painstaking efforts of the Governor and particularly commended Senator Smart Adeyemi, Senator representing West Senatorial Districts of the Kogi State and other National Assembly Members from Kogi West and the two other Senatorial Districts for their role in making the approval possible.
He equally thanked Otumba Jide Omokore for the pivotal role he played in ensuring the approval for the road repairs.
He also thanked clergymen from the area for their prayers and other people who contributed in no small measure to making the road approval possible
The State Deputy Governor appealed to the people to have belief in government promises assuring that the road, with the personal commitment and assurances from the President and the Ministry of Works would be completed on schedule.
The road when completed will no doubt ease the journey time of motorists, reduce road accidents and improve the economic activities of people living in that area that had since come to a halt as well as improve transportation business.
While the jubilation on the road award is yet to die down. The appeal for the inclusion and completion of the Oshiokhoshoko to Kabba end of the road as promised by the President of the Dangote Group of Company, Alhaji Aliko Dangote will no doubt make full the joy of the people of the western senatorial district. Similarly,an appeal for the construction of other federal roads in the state in view of the strategic location of the state remains very necessary.
The award of the Ilorin-Omuaran-Kabba Road by the federal government has no doubt once again reinforced and strengthened the fundamental transformation agenda of the administration of President Goodluck Jonathan and that of Governor Capt. Idris Wada. The Contract award is most especially germane to the realization of the transformation agenda of the State Government that has completed several state roads since coming on board and still working on over 30 others across the state.
The road award coming at this time of the year will remain the best yuletide gift for the people of the West Senatorial Districts of the Kogi State.
This is because it has remained a major source of concern to many people in Kogi State as a result of the various alternative routes they have been forced to take in order to connect to Kwara State and some other states in the South West part of Nigeria that often elongated their journey.