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Oyo Govt. To Recall Ajimobi’s Road Contractors Over Alleged ‘Shoddy Jobs’

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Oyo State government has said that it would summon road contractors of the immediate past administration of Senator Abiola Ajimobi to site over what was termed ‘shoddy jobs’ across the State.

 

The State Commissioner for Works and Transport, Prof Raphael Afonja  disclosed this during an inspection tour of Taki and Odo-Oru-NEPA roads in Ogbomoso township yesterday.

 

Ogbomoso township road, Saki’s Poly to Ijale-Oda road and Oyo township roads were among road projects embarked upon by the Ajimobi-led administration but some of the projects, according to him were not completed.

 

Afonja expressed displeasure at what he called the state of the roads constructed by the previous administration which he said were already dilapidated under two years and less because they were not properly planned and constructed to stand the test of time.

 

“The roads were not designed properly for the purpose they are meant to serve and as such, the failure of the roads are of great concern to us, therefore, we will look for the contractors that did the road works and bring them back to site to complete the jobs or be made to refund government money back to its coffers.

 

“The inspection of the roads was to yield to calls made by people for government’s intervention on the roads, as a responsive government, we owe the people the responsibility to come and see things for ourselves and proffer possible solutions.

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“We are assuring the people of Oyo State that any road construction project embarked upon by the Governor Seyi Makinde led administration will stand the test of time to serve as example to others.”

 

At the Palace of Soun of Ogbomoso, Oba Jimoh Oyewumi Ajagungbade III, where the government team made a courtesy call on the royal father. The monarch charged the federal and the State government on speedy completion of both the federal and the State roads in Ogbomoso axis, charging them to also construct roads of good standards to make life easy for road users for which he said they would be remembered for long after their tenure.

 

The visit was also extended to the palace of Onpetu of Ijeru land in Ogbomoso where Oba Sunday Oyediran commended the lofty ideas and programs of the Seyi Makinde-led administration, urging the present government not to rest its oars in order for the people to further enjoy the dividends of democracy.

 

The State governor had recently re-awarded the 65 kilometers Moniya-Iseyin road to KOPEK Engineering Company over what was referred to as the incompetence of the contractor handling the contract during the last administration.

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Those eyeing Oyo Gov seat should wait till 2023 – Makinde

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Oyo State Governor, Engineer Seyi Makinde, told his political opponents to wait till 2023 to face him at the polls.

The Governor, who was speaking while flagging off the reconstruction of the 65-kilometre Moniya-Ijaye-Iseyin Road, said that the people of Oyo State rejected the main opposition party in the state because they did nothing to develop the state.

A statement by the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr. Taiwo Adisa, quoted Makinde as saying that even though the previous administration awarded the contract for the rehabilitation of the road, the job was not done while the money released was shared for the purpose of elections.

“We have told them to meet us in 2023,” Governor Makinde said, adding: “Though they got money, they did nothing. They spent the money on elections but did you vote for them? If they come to ask for your votes, will you vote for them?”

The Governor further stated that he was determined to execute the Road contract as a way of fulfilling his campaign promise.

He said: “I appreciate you for giving us the opportunity to serve you. During our campaign from here [Moniya] to Oke-Ogun, I promised that I will reconstruct the road if I become the Governor and, today, I am happy that it is the same project we are flagging off.

He restated the resolve of his administration to construct infrastructure that will target the State’s economy, adding that when completed, the road, which is quite close to ongoing Dry Port project at Olorisaoko, will aid the movement of agricultural produces and mineral resources from Oke-Ogun area to the Dry Port for onward exporting.

The 65 kilometre road is being executed by KOPEK Construction Company, at the cost of N9.9 billion.

The Governor, who described the road as an important one that can uplift the economy of the State, said his Government was embarking on the total reconstruction of the road as opposed to the planned rehabilitation by the immediate past administration.

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He berated how the road had been abandoned for years, culminating in loss of lives and properties as well as the destruction of farm produces due to the deplorable condition of the road.

The Governor further said: “On this project, we are not talking about patching but total reconstruction of the road. I know you are all aware that there is a Dry Port project ongoing here in Olorisaoko. So, when they are conveying agricultural produces and solid minerals all the way from Oke-Ogun, this is the point where we will be exporting them.

“You can recall that I also promised that the money we will spend on infrastructure will be targeted on expanding our economy and this road is a major road that can boost the economy of Oyo State. When we got into office, we discovered that the money that was awarded to carry out the road project was shared among those who held offices in the past administration. They spent the money on campaign and the last election and, upon that, you did not vote for them.

“This road was abandoned for eight years. Countless number of people have died on the road. Time has been wasted. In 2015, during the electioneering campaign, we had accident on this same road too but we thank God that no life was lost. It was because of that incidence that made me promise that if I eventually get the people’s mandate to serve the state, we won’t spend beyond 45 minutes to reach Iseyin from Moniya in the morning, afternoon and night. We will also mobilise security operatives to be patrolling the road.”

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Governor Makinde added that State Government has given the contractor, KOPEK Construction Company, a mandate to deliver a quality road project that will be adopted throughout the State, noting that the company had been given the mandate to deliver a road with an asphaltic thickness of 50mm as against the 40mm thickness being targeted by the previous contractor.

He added that the challenges being faced by road users plying the road would be over in 12 months, charging the contractor, KOPEK Construction Company to deliver to time and to make sure it employs youths in the beneficiary communities as workers during the construction in order to create jobs for the teeming youths.

He said: “I want to assure you my people in Akinyele and Oke-Ogun, jobs are coming. Be united and be ready to work because being able to work is the antidote to poverty. I want to implore the contractor, KOPEK, to employ our youths. We want Oyo State’s money to remain in the State. I also want to tell the youths too to cooperate with the contractor. Try and be organised so that you can be given jobs that can give you earnings within the next one year.

“We don’t want this project to be abandoned again and that was why we had to make upfront payment of 60 per cent to the contractor. We want Messrs KOPEK Construction Company to complete this project within a year. By this time next year, I am coming to commission the road.

“I implore you all from Moniya to Iseyin to take care of the road. The standard of the road we want the contractor to do is the one we will adopt throughout the whole of Oyo State. For those who are familiar with Engineering work, 40mm is the thickness of the asphalt they did before but we have instructed the new contractor to make it 50mm because we expect that trailers will begin to ply through the road after completion.”

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Earlier, the Commissioner for Public Works, Infrastructure and Transportation, Professor Raphael Afonja, stated that the goal of the State Government was to have the contract completed in 12 months, noting that the project “was conceived to bring the much-desired uplift to Oke-Ogun zone as the food basket of state in particular and Nigeria in general. It will also contribute significantly to improving socio-economic activities in Oke-Ogun zone in particular and Oyo State generally.

Afonja added: “The project in its earlier conception by the last administration was for limited rehabilitation, it has now been upgraded to a total reconstruction. The asphaltic surfacing has been increased from 40mm to 50mm and the stone base from 150mm to 200mm to provide a more durable road that will stand the test of time. We have also made provision to correct the inadequate system that was observed in the initial design of the road.”

Community leaders from Akinyele Local Government and Oke-Ogun areas, Alhaji Rafiu Adebiyi and Senator Hosea Agboola, appreciated Governor Makinde for making the road construction a reality.

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IITA-ACAI to train 30,000 farmers in Abia, Benue, Oyo, Osun, Ogun 

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About 30,000 farmers from Abia, Benue, Oyo, Ogun and Osun states will benefit from the training on the Six Steps to Cassava Weed Management & Best Planting Practices, says Godwin Atser, ACAI Digital Extension & Advisory Services Specialist today.

The trainings are aimed at empowering farmers with the knowledge to boost cassava and maize productivity and yield per hectare. This will subsequently increase farmers’ incomes, better their livelihoods, and create jobs for more people.

The trainings are being done in close collaboration with state Agricultural Development Programs (ADPs) and other extension service providers.

To ensure a seamless and successful dissemination of the Six Steps to Cassava Weed Management and Best Planting Practices tool, the team has developed videos and translated same into local languages – Igbo, Yoruba, and Tiv, targeting the respective zones.

The ACAI team has also procured mini-projectors and mobile phones to empower extension service providers in the participating states.

The Six Steps to Cassava Weed Management was first developed by the IITA Cassava Weed Management Project. The tool has since integrated the best planting practices of ACAI. Farmers who use the toolkit have more than doubled their cassava yield from the national average of 9 tonnes per ha to more than 20 tonnes per ha.

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“It is amazing to see how the Six Steps to Cassava Weed Management & Best Planting Practices Decision Support Tool is changing the face of cassava farmers,” Atser added.

Dr Alfred Dixon, IITA Director for Development & Delivery described the toolkit as an innovation that combines a set of agronomic recommendations and plant protection products to control weeds and increase the productivity of cassava.

Beyond Nigeria, several other countries have requested for the toolkit with ACAI team training partners in Liberia, Tanzania, Burundi, and Zambia.

Apart from the use of videos, the ACAI team has put up the recommendations from the Six Steps on Cassava Weed Management and Best Planting Practices on the 3-2-1 service of Airtel where subscribers in Nigeria can dial 3-2-1 and get information on cassava weed management and other agronomic practices free of charge up to 10 times in a month.

“The idea is to get the recommendations to thousands of farmers across Nigeria and Tanzania so they can get better yield from cassava farming,” Dr Dixon added.

 

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Broadcast Content Regulation: Makinde Seeks Govt, NBC, Media House Owners’ Cooperation

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Oyo State governor, Engr. Seyi Makinde has advocated mutual cooperation among the broadcast house owners, government and the Nigerian Broadcasting Commission (NBC) to ensure sanity in the profession and promote development agenda.

 

The governor who spoke through the State Commissioner for Information, Culture and Tourism, Dr. Wasiu Olatunbosun on Thursday while receiving the NBC Zonal Director at his office said the essence of broadcast which was to disseminate information to the generality of the people would only be achieved if the players towed the path of professionalism.

 

Olatunbosun the State administration has been using all communication outlets to reach out to the masses, not just to broadcast government programs and achievements but to allow the people set developmental agenda alongside the government, as government represented the people, adding that town hall meetings were also used to coalesce ideas and get feedback.

 

“Ibadan is the base of broadcast industry in Nigeria because broadcasting started here, we are using this medium to assure the practitioners that the present administration will work towards collaboration with broadcast agencies and the stations in the State to make sure the industry develops.

 

“Parts of the mass media tools the governor believes should be used to project and coalesce ideas for good governance is town hall meetings that will involve all categories of the society, this will be used to identify the core yearnings of the people in order to promote agenda-setting mechanism.

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“It is our belief that with cooperation among the owners of broadcast stations, broadcast agencies, which NBC is among and the State government that will lead to regular meetings through which issues relating to the progress of the industry will be discussed and the code of conducts will be regularly harped upon, sanity will be fostered and maintained among practitioners.”

 

The Zonal Director of NBC which comprised of Oyo, Osun and Ogun States, Mr Raphael Akpan sought the cooperation and assistance of the State Ministry of Information, Culture and Tourism to regulate the State-owned broadcast stations, adding that all private stations in the State have been abiding by the rules guiding the practice of broadcast.

 

Akpan said the agency has sanctioned most of the private stations through fines payable to the agency’s purse while it has been fair to all broadcast stations, whether private, government or community-owned.

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