Governor Ibikunle Amosun of Ogun state has given reasons that hinder Ogun State Government’s plan to reconstruct Atan-Igbesa-Agbara road, saying the Federal Government’s failure to cede the road to the State Government seriously impedes all efforts towards reconstruction of the said road.
Reports show that Atan-Igbesa-Agbara road is a strategically-structured economic road which serves as a linkage road between Nigeria and West African countries through Badagry-Seme border and Republic of Benin to the east and Iba-Alaba-Mile 2 and Apapa seaports to the west.
Atan-Igbesa-Agbara industrial road that hosts 70% of manufacturing industries in the state was started by Shehu Shangri-led Federal Government in the early 80s and originally tagged Badagry-Agbara-Abeokuta-Sokoto road but has since abandoned by successive governments and now causes perennial problems for human and vehicular traffic inbound and outbound Ogun state and Lagos state as well as Benin Republic through either Idi-Iroko border or Badagry-Seme border.
It will be recalled that Governor Ibikunle Amosun-led Ogun state government in July 2017 signed a Memorandum of Agreement (MoA) with private investors in Atan-Igbesa-Agbara industrial areas being represented by Kolapo Lawson, Chairman of Agbara Estates Limited on possible road reconstruction based on public-private partnership arrangement, using concrete technology that will cost about N23 billion.
Speaking on the state of the road which has been abandoned at the Town Hall Meeting on 2019 Ogun State Budget held in Abeokuta on Thursday, the governor said that the State government could not go beyond the present situation of the road since Federal Government had failed to cede the ownership of the road to the State government.
Governor Amosun made this declaration in response to the questions of the State Branch of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) that was put forward by Executive Secretary of the Association, Motunrayo Elegberun, adding that the non cession of the ownership of the critical road project to State government is responsible for further deterioration of the road.
The governor explained that financial institutions could not grant loans to finance the road project since Federal Government had failed to cede the road and “this is seriously affecting the progress of the road because we cannot spend up to such an amount N23 to N25 billion on that road for now.”
He added, “I am waiting for the Federal Government to cede the road to us, I want to go to banks that will finance this road for us, but we cannot go. We are constructing concrete road that will cost us about N25 billion because of the pressure of the heavy trucks on the road.
“We need to do concrete road there. We are going to find a formula which we are going to use to solve the issue of that road.”