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Counting the Gains of Osun Infrastructural Devt (Views: 1,381)

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Rauf Aregbesola

Yinka Kolawole writes on the various strides taken by the Osun State Government to boost its economy, revenue drive and development, through investment in infrastructure.

Perhaps one of the reasons Osun state governor, Mr. Rauf Aregbesola, has managed to remain in good books of Osun people is the massive infrastructural development the state has witnessed since the governor assumed leadership in November, 2010.

Pick of the Pack

Although quite numerous projects are presently being undertaken by Osun state government, the flagship project of the massive investment in upgrading of infrastructural amenities in the state in recent months, especially in Osogbo, the state capital is the dualisation of the 45-kilometre Osogbo-Ikirun-Kwara state Boundary road.

Since Osun state government signed a N17.8 billion contract agreement with Sammya Construction Company Limited for the dualisation of the said road, the project was segmented into three.

These comprise the Osogbo-Dagbolu (International Market) to Alamisi Market in Ikirun (9.52 kilometres); Osogbo (Old-garage) to Ikirun junction road (20.5 kilometres), and Ikirun-Ila Odo- Kwara State Boundary road (16.55 kilometres).

The state government has been receiving a lot of commendations from both the people living in the state and road users using the ever-busy Osogbo-IIorin road.

The move is in line with the assurance given by Special Adviser to the Governor on Works and Transport, Mr. Oladepo Amuda, that the project would be completed within 24 months, and with the explanation that the project was not the usual direct contract award, but a contractor-financing transaction due to its confidence in the administration of Governor Aregbesola that the money for the contract would be repaid across 36 months after the completion of the project.

Thus, the contractor, Sammya Ltd has not only demonstrated its capabilities in executing the project technical wise, but it has also displayed a rather solid financial war chest that only few construction companies can boast of; thereby clearing any doubt about the success of the

project.

A development financial institution, The Infrastructure Bank Plc (TIB) which is the Transaction Advisor, Fund Arranger and Financier of the project is also working in conjunction with the construction company and other stakeholders to fund the project.

Chairman, Sammya Ltd., Mr. Sammy Adigun, at the inception of the project, not only promised to meet up with the 24-month deadline for the project with the assurance that a lot of hands are being employed to ensure the deadline was not missed, also revealed that the company had signed a local content undertaking, such that the labour and materials would be sourced locally up to 60 per cent, stressing that the actual target was 90 per cent to provide jobs for the people of the state.

Stakeholders’ Views

Several months down the line since work commenced on the multi-billion naira project however, opinions of people of the state about the performance of the contractor on the job has been nearly the same, with people praising the technical knowhow that has never been seen in the state before now being employed by Sammya in executing the project.

Commenting on the project vis a vis the quality of technology being employed, a trader at Igbona Market in Osogbo, Madam Sinatu Layoonu, said Sammya has proven it is capable of handling the job with the deployment of brand-new machinery for road construction, adding that the workers handling the project have also demonstrated sense of dedication to the admiration of people.

“Many of these machines that Sammya workers are using for the construction are new to many of us in Osogbo. They are not only new, but are also very appropriate, at least to some of us, who have never seen such huge construction machines, for the quality of work people of the state are expecting them to deliver. We are indeed very grateful to the governor for giving such a project to a serious company like Sammya”, she said.

Speaking in similarly vein, a shop owner at Aiyetoro Area of the state capital, Chuks Ezemokuai, noted that despite the increasing rain, the uncompromising spirit of Sammya has ensured work progress steadily on the project.

He added, “When the company initially commenced on the project and the contractor, Sammya Construction, started work on the road, I, like many others doubted the capability of the construction firm because we were not familiar with that name, but it was not long before we were all proved wrong and Sammya won our hearts with the quality of machines and the expertise of its men constructing the road.”

Adigun added that for executing the project, the administration of Aregbesola has demonstrated its unwavering commitment to fully implementing its aggressive road development plan for the state, which, he said would facilitate the rapid development of the state.

Speaking on how activities of Sammya have aided businesses of petty traders especially those that have their shops close to the construction site, Mrs. Beatrice Olawoore, opined that many of petty traders have immensely benefitted from the ongoing project because the construction workers have been patronising them.

She added: “Many of us petty traders have benefitted from the presence of Sammya’s men on this road because they buy a lot from us, ranging from snacks to drinks and stuffs like that; they have aided our business very well. I believe this is part of the gains of this ongoing construction work. At least if the construction is not going on here, these men will not be around here and our sales would have remained what it was”.

Speaking on how the construction work has improved youth empowerment, one of the drivers recruited by Sammya from the state, Yunus Adegboyega from Oba Ile, a town in Olorunda local government area of Osun state, explained: “I got a hint that Sammya was employing drivers and I approached its office. That was how I got the job.

“The salary is very attractive and there was training for all the workers. Besides empowering us financially, Sammya is also exposing us to skills in our various areas that are very new to many of us. The number of youths from Osun state that have been employed into various departments and sections of the company since the work began on the road is well over 500”.

Corroborating the views of Adegboyega on empowerment, a construction materials supplier based in Osogbo, Francis Fadoyin, hailed the contractor for sourcing construction materials from within the state.

Fadoyin said business of many construction materials dealers have improved greatly since Sammya commenced work in the state capital.

“True to the promise of the chairman of the company, when the contract was awarded that, construction materials for the project would be sourced locally; the workers are actually sourcing materials from people dealing in the materials in the state. We can only hope this will be sustained and other contractors working on projects within the state will emulate Sammya and buy materials from people dealing in them from the state”, he added.

Also counting the gains of Osun massive investment in infrastructural development vis a vis the construction of Osogbo-Ila Odo-Kwara Boundary road, a labour leader in the state, Mr. Kazeem Oladepo challenged administrators in the country to borrow a leaf, not only from the model adopted to finance the project, but also the sheer dedication to duties, which he said the contractor has shown in making sure that the work is done to specifications.

Speaking further, the state Ministry of Health employee added that the construction of the road has demonstrated the readiness of government to place Osun in the league of developed states and a pointer to the resolve of Aregbesola’s administration to lift the state to enviable heights in terms of infrastructural development.

A traditional ruler, Oba Rauf Adedeji, the Akinrun of Ikirun, the headquarters of Ifelodun local government area of Osun state, one of the towns through which the road transverses, commended both state government and Sammya Construction Limited for making the project a good reference point for the development-driven administrators in the country.

For the monarch, the dream to transform the state’s infrastructural amenities, as conceived by the governor, is actually being given a life by the contractor handling the project. He charged all those involved in the project to retain the same work zeal through its duration.

In a similar vein, Chief Tadese Esuleke of Oloba Compound, Osogbo, opined that, besides giving Osun a facelift, employment opportunities created through the project is simply the continuation of youth empowerment efforts of the Aregbesola-led government.

“Many youths in the state, who could not get opportunity in OYES, are beginning to turn their attention to Sammya, the contractor working on Osogbo-Kwara Boundary road. Honestly, this work is assisting in mopping our streets of these hitherto idle young men. You can call it an indirect way by government and its partner the contractor to empower young ones”.

Speaking on behalf of students’ movement in the state, a former Osun state chairman of Joint Campus Committee (JCC) of the National Association Nigerian Students (NANS), Comrade Bosede Safety said: “People are saying youth empowerment is one of the gains recorded by the state through the project of Osogbo-Kwara Boundary road.

“But, beyond that fact, I think the preservation of lives and properties of the people that will use that road is huge. The rate of accident on that road before this construction work is relatively high. Lives and properties have been lost and that will have to stop now with the expansion and reconstruction work going on.

“I want to express gratitude of the people of Osun state, most especially the youths, who apart benefitting as road users, also have gainful employment opportunity through Sammya, the firm handling the job to both the government and the contractor handling the project. With this kind of infrastructure, automobiles being used in the state will have longer lifespan; thereby reducing spending on vehicle maintenance, which further relaxes the strain on peoples’ income”, Safety added.

Infrastructure Financing

The MD/CEO of TIB, Mr. AbdulRazaq Oyinloye, said, “Infrastructure financing in Nigeria has received a significant boost with the innovative financing brought to bear to ensure that the Osogbo-Ilaodo road project is well-funded and completed on-schedule.

He said: “The project is a clear statement of intent by the Bank to continue to be at the forefront of attracting urgently-needed capital into Nigeria’s infrastructure space”.


Where: osun | When: August, 1 2013

Date submitted: November, 6 2014

Sources: This Day

Osun people is the massive infrastructural development the state has witnessed since the governor assumed leadership in November, 2010

Osun people is the massive infrastructural development the state has witnessed since the governor assumed leadership in November, 2010

 

Osun people is the massive infrastructural development the state has witnessed since the governor assumed leadership in November, 2010

Osun people is the massive infrastructural development the state has witnessed since the governor assumed leadership in November, 2010

 

Osun people is the massive infrastructural development the state has witnessed since the governor assumed leadership in November, 2010

Osun people is the massive infrastructural development the state has witnessed since the governor assumed leadership in November, 2010

 


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