The Kogi State Governor, Alhaji Yahaya Bello over the weekend flagged-off road constructions across the three senatorial districts of the state at the cost of over N10 billion naira.
The 18.3 kilometres long road network in Kogi Central include Agassa-Ahache-Upogoro road, Ogaminana-Ebogogo road, Itape-Eika-Kuroko road and Obehira-Ihima-Obangede road in Okene, Adavi and Okehi local government area of the state at the cost of N3. 819 billion naira.
Others are Iyamoye-Jege-Ife-Olukotun-Ponyan-Ejuku-Ijowa Isanlu roads, Ekirin-Ade-Ohun-Ifeolukotun roads all in Kogi West at the cost of N4 billion naira.
While in Kogi East, work is to commence at Ayingba-Umomi-Akpagidigbo-Ugwolawo-Ajaka road, Ankpa township road, Ibana-Okpo road and Ikeje-Ogugu-Ette road at the cost of 2.84 billion naira.
Flagging-off the road in Kogi Central over the weekend, the state governor, Alhaji Yahaya Belllo in his address lamented the poor state of infrastructure, particularly road across the three senatorial districts of the state.
According to Bello, the New Direction blueprint of his administration had taken note of the infrastructural decay in health, education and road in the state, adding that frantic efforts would be made to rehabilitate dilapidated infrastructure in the state.
Bello explained that Lokoja, the state capital and other major towns in the state would be given facelift to the standard of 21st century cities.
He particularly expressed the readiness of his administration to complete the ongoing Lokoja township road with modern facilities to make the state capital be able to compete with others across the country.
The governor added that apart from urban roads, his administration would also rehabilitate rural roads and make them motorable to further aid economic development of the state.
According to him, since efforts were on to diversify the nation’s economy with agriculture considered to be alternative to oil, deliberate moves would be made to ensure that farm produces get to market through good road networks.
Also speaking with newsmen at event, the Special Adviser to Kogi state governor on Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Arc. Abdulmumuni Okala assured communities in the state that henceforth they will be part of decision making on the types of project to be executed in rural areas.
Okara who spoke against the backdrop of underutilisation of projects by the people living in the rural areas of the state, said gone are the days when government officials sat in the comfort of their offices to decide for communities the type of projects to be provided,
He noted that investigation has revealed that most projects that are completed but not put to use by communities concern was due to lack of involvement of the people in decision taking before the projects are provided.
The Special Adviser also disclosed that governor Yahaya Bello has introduced what is called “end users report, pointing out that SDGs officials have gone round the 21 local government councils with a view to interact with communities on the type of projects they want, adding that by the time they go back to execute the projects, the communities will definitely utilise the project.
“The end users report introduced by the governor will enable the government have a comprehensive report on the projects executed before payment can be made and this will enable the government have check and balance.
“We have gone round the 21 local government council and based on our interaction with the people at the grassroots, we have discovered the type of project they needed which varies from one community to another, while some are in need of road, others declared interest in having hospital, water among others and by the time we go back to establish the projects, the communities were already involved and they will put such projects in use because they need such projects” Okala noted.
On the MDGs projects that had been paid for by the immediate past administration, but not completed, the Special Adviser declared that the contractors who handled such projects will be called back to site to complete the project.