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Home Opinion Kick Starter with Femi Owoeye Is Ekiti State under BAO Another Elephant Project Regime?

Is Ekiti State under BAO Another Elephant Project Regime?

FEMI OWOEYE

Being one of the least developed in Nigeria, Ekiti State is begging for infrastructure, especially roads and power.

Ekiti is not Lagos. Neither is Ekiti’s comparative advantage similar to that of Lagos.

The question, therefore, is: Why are Ekiti political leaders bent on building elephant projects that are of little or no economic value?

At a time when the world is wallowing through economic crisis and vital constitutional contents, including electricity, are being taken off the exclusive legislative list in Nigeria, one would have expected Ekiti to take advantage of power generation and distribution. Not another flipping flyover in Ado-Ekiti.

While a flyover looks good and has its place, what Ekiti needs at the moment are projects and steps capable of increasing the state’s IGR, reducing costs of governance and adding to the state’s economy.

For now, the flyover under construction would only add to the perceived security of political office holders. Yes. It would enable the governor’s convoy to cruise over the old Garage to the hilly governor’s house without delay. How useful!

Governor Biodun Oyebanji must have been listening to wrong and politically selfish advisers. Ekiti needs industrialisation, security and infrastructural developments that would discourage rural-urban migration.

Since the removal of fuel subsidy by the federal government, allocations to the state are said to have tripled. Even at that, instead of a flyover, if Governor Biodun Oyebanji is out to impress Ado-ekiti indigenes, he should have considered an industrial road or lane backed by a 24-hour power supply.

Igirigiri road, for instance, is a major access to the main Ado local government and the state’s permanent headquarter of the Nigeria immigration service (NIS).

Igirigiri road links Federal polytechnic, a tertiary institution surrounded by a 250000 hecters of land lying waste.

Along that route are hecters of forest via Ikere-Ekiti, through Ise, Emure down to Owo and Ikare-Akoko in Ondo State. If tarred and supported with 24-hour electricity, this road could translate to the state’s Industrial lane or Corridor, following examples of states like kano and Kaduna States. Ogun state also has an industrial Road from Sango to Otta, with 24 hour gas power. Same can be found in Enugu and Anambra States. Portharcourt, the capital of River State has got an Industrial road. Same goes for Benin in Edo State.

With tarred road and regular electricity, idle hectares of land along the corridor would naturally encourage large scale farming and attract investors in agro-processing and other industries.

With hips of hills dotting Ekiti state, enough electricity can be generated to power the entire state, using wind turbine mounted on the hills.

Moreover, is governor BAO unaware of the dangerous spot between Ayedun and Ayebode-Ekiti? I remember, TVC, twice broadcast documentaries on the poor state of the road.Yes, the federal government seems to have patched the roads up to Ayedun. But the major problem center, a place known as Omi Oloran between Odo Ayedun and Ayebode-Ekiti is left untouched. By implication, when the full raining season resumes, that road will, once again be blocked by trailers, cutting off vehicular movement between Ekiti through Kogi state and, Abuja.

Of course, the governor’s advisers would be quick to argue that it is a federal road, as if the flyover being constructed in Ado-Ekiti is on a state road.

Governor BAO started well and received accolades across the state. But the accolades are shrinking now that he is obviously toeing the path of his predecessors.

Or who would have believed that BAO would become so wasteful to the point of appointing about 200 “special advisers” many of whom are allegedly not having up to school certificate academic qualification?

How does anyone explain the fact that an engineering-based Ekiti State Ministry of Works is headed by a commissioner with an academic qualification in CRK (Christian Religious Knowledge) and Permanent Secretary, who is a graduate of Theatre Art?

Being a fountain of knowledge, one would have expected Ekiti State Ministry of Works to start working. This is a ministry with experts in civil, electrical, mechanical and mechathronics engineering being kept idle and office bound. The jobs they should handle, including buildings and road constructions are contracted out. Money that should have been invested in procurement of agriculture machinery are diverted to purchase of cars and Pick-ups, costs of which are allegedly inflated.

What is wrong in spending Ekiti money dualising the so-called federal road, starting from  Poly junction,  Ejigbo through Iluomoba to Ikole –Ayedun-Ayebode-Ilasha-Ikun and Omuo with another branch from Iluomoba to Agbado. These are federal roads, right?

What about Ayebode-Eda Ile Road? There is no motorable road linking the two towns. In between the two are government forest reserve and massive hectares of farmlands.

Embarking on the foregoing will enhance security, attract industrialization, increase Ekiti government’s IGR and reduce rural-urban migration.

This is the way to go. Ekiti state has had enough of wastage and misplaced priorities.

 

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