The federal government on Thursday flagged off the construction and dualization of Akure-Ado-Ekiti Road, with a commitment that it will be completed at the stipulated time.
Speaking at the ceremony, the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN, who apologised to the people of Ondo and Ekiti states for the delay in reconstructing the road, said necessary documentation had been completed and payment had been made to the contractors for the smooth take off of the project.
The Minister allayed the fears of the people, saying that the project will not be abandoned as its financing structure with tax credit is such that would not be affected by change of administration.
Fashola commended the Minister of State for Transportation, Prince Ademola Adegoroye, for his unrelenting efforts in ensuring the road was re-awarded and is flagged off before the end of his tenure as Minister.
According to him, Adegoroye has not only done well for the people of Ondo State even more than those who spent 4 years or 8 years, he has added value to the cabinet of the Buhari administration.
He said: “Barely under a year that Prince Ademola Adegoroye has been a Minister, I know how many memoranda has presented despite the fact that he has a substantive Minister.
“It is an understatement to say he has been on my neck on this road project. He chases me with telephone every day on this road. He said he would not be able to return home (to Ondo State) after the expiration of tenure if the road does not take off,” the Works Minister said.
In his remark, the Minister of State for Transportation, Prince Ademola Adegoroye, said he was happy and fulfilled to witness the flag off of the reconstruction of the road, which he said means a lot for the economic prosperity of the two States.
Adegoroye said: “I took it as a serious task to pursue this project because this road is so important to us. A lot of people live in Ado and work in Akure and vice versa.
“When our governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, sent me to Abuja, he asked me to do something about Akure/Ado road and get the Ondo Port approval. I am fulfilled today that I have delivered on both.”
The Minister appealed to the people, especially host communities and traditional rulers to cooperate with the contractors handling the project so everything can go on smoothly and the project can be delivered at the stipulated time.
Ondo State Governor, Arakunrin Oluwarotimi Akeredolu, who was represented by the Commissioner for Infrastructure, Lands and Housing, Engr Raimi Aminu and Ekiti State Governor, Mr. Biodun Oyebanji, who was represented by the Head of Service of the State, Mr. Ayodeji Ajayi, in their goodwill messages, said the project when completed would reduce suffering of residents of the two States and boost economic activities between them.
The event was attended by traditional rulers from the two States, including the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Ogunlade Aladelusi and the Ewi of Ado Ekoti, Oba Rufus Adejuyigbe as well as Senator Ayo Akinyelure of Ondo Central.