The Oyo state government has said it would soon begin training of staff in the maintenance departments of local government areas and local council development areas in the state to be able to carry out maintenance works on roads across the state.
Special Adviser to Governor Abiola Ajimobi on Infrastructure, Mr Gbenga Akintola who stated this on Wednesday, in Ibadan, said the training aimed at ensuring that local government staff can effectively utilize their graders and other road construction equipment to fix roads within their domain.
While noting that majority of the roads in the state were feeder roads which belonged to the local government, Akintola said the state government fixed those roads based on requests forwarded by LGs and LCDAs.
He mentioned ongoing patching of roads in areas like Popoyemaja, Oke-Ado, Iyaganku, NTC Road, Eleta, Odinjo, Challenge, Apata, Odo-Ona in Ibadan, and areas in Ogbomoso and Oyo zone with funding drawn from the 2017 budgetary provision for the maintenance agency of over N360 million.
In the ongoing project which he tagged, “Zero tolerance for potholes in Oyo state”, Akintola said the state will be working at night in areas peculiar for a high volume of human and vehicular traffic.
Akintola spoke at the briefing alongside Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Mr Toye Arulogun; Special Adviser to Governor Abiola Ajimobi on E-media, Mr Tunde Muraina.
“Majority of the roads we have in the state are feeder roads and they belong to the local government. However, what the department has done is that we wrote to the Commissioner for Local Government and Chieftaincy Affairs that we need to work more with the maintenance department of the ministry.
“And what we have proposed is to embark on the free training of men and women that will work for the maintenance department of the various local government and local council development areas.
“By doing that, we are empowering those maintenance staff to be able to carry out the maintenance work themselves. This is because they are the ones closer to these roads and have the equipment as well.
“The government provided them with graders and bulldozers so some of these roads, even when they are graded, can become more motorable. That proposal has gone to the Commissioner and he has endorsed it. So, we are partnering with local government to ensure that quality of the work carried out is improved upon.
“And where they have challenges that they cannot handle, they refer that to us and we have been able to assist them. It might not be in all cases because we have roads that we cannot attend to as we would have loved to due to the paucity of funds. The budget for this year has not been approved so the work we are carrying out dovetailed from last year,” Akintola said.
Credit: Nigerian Tribune