Funmi Olaitan, Ibadan
Fifteen years after the idea was conceived, Governor Abiola Ajimobi of Oyo State will on Friday flag off the construction of Ibadan Circular Road to enhance the socio-economic development of the ancient city.
A statement by Special Adviser to the Governor on Communication and Strategy, Mr. Yomi Layinka, made this disclosure.
The project, which was conceived by the administration of former Governor Lam Adesina, had suffered neglect and abandonment by successive administrations in the state.
Layinka said, "In the pursuit of his administration’s agenda to transform Oyo State into a modern state of his dream, Governor Abiola Ajimobi identified the socio-economic benefits of the circular road project to the state and has diligently pursued its manifestation.
"In realization of this vision, the state government signed a memorandum of understanding for the construction of the road through a Public-Private Partnership (PPP) agreement with ENL Consortium Limited.
"The circular road, when completed, is expected to ease intra and inter-city traffic congestion, especially for Ibadan which is fast becoming an industrialized city under the current administration.
"The circular road will serve as a bye pass for inter-city traffic on routes outside Ibadan, while it will open a new economic corridor for controlled development in line with the Ibadan Master Plan.’’
He added that the road would further enhance the socio-economic life and ultimately engender better standard of living of the people, stating that it would also boost trade and commerce, enhance revenue generation as well as create employment opportunities for the teeming youth in the state.
The Adesina administration had in 2002 constituted an inter-ministerial committee for the purpose of construction of the road.
The committee had proposed a survey design towards ascertaining the cost of the project for eventual award to a contractor, which was not implemented until the end of that regime.
The contract for the survey of the road was awarded in 2005 by Adesina’s successor, Senator Rasheed Ladoja, while the engineering design was awarded in 2005 and concluded in 2007.
Although the contract for the construction of the road, which was divided into two phases, was awarded to two contractors by the regime, the project was later cancelled by the Otunba Adebayo Alao-Akala administration on assumption of office.
For reasons not made public, the Alao-Akala administration substituted the project with new ones which the contractors were compelled to execute, having already been mobilized for the circular road.