Edo State Governor, Mr. Godwin Obaseki, on Tuesday, led other top government functionaries to inspect the ongoing construction of the 16.7km Ikpako-Ajoki, in Ovia North East and Ikpoba-Okha Local Government Areas of the State, to assess the progress and quality of work.
Obaseki, during the on-site assessment of the project alongside financiers of the project, said the state government will continue to prioritize infrastructural development, noting that the project will, on completion, transform the fortunes of residents of the area.
The road will serve as a major access route for residents of communities in the two local councils of the State, including Ikpako, Obateru, Evburokho in Ovia North East, and Abiak, Ajoki, Kolokolo, Ajamokha in Ikpoba-Okha Local Government, among others.
The governor also promised the completion of the road stretching from Gelegele to Ekehuan Barracks before the end of his tenure in 2024, noting that his government will sustain reforms and projects to improve the living standard of the people and ensure economic prosperity for the State.
According to him, “This road project is very important because it creates access for the oil-producing company operating here rather than them assessing their facility via Delta. Also, the road is important because we are using a very unique financing structure for it between Edo State Ministry of Roads and Bridges, EDSOGPADEC, and Sahara Energy. Hence, the need for this inspection for the financiers to see how their money is being spent.
“This is not just a normal road due to the nature of the soil here. They have to excavate as low as one meter to remove the clay material, and backfill with solid laterite material to stabilize the road before they can now put in the asphalt.”
The governor assured, “As a government, we don’t say the things we will not do. Before I leave office, the stretch from Gelegele River to Ekehuan Barracks will be completed. Please ensure you continue to give us your support.”
Speaking on behalf of one of the financiers, the Director, Sahara Energy, Mr. Temitope Shonubi, expressed satisfaction with the quality of the project and pace of work.
On his part, Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Roads and Bridges, Osikhena Ojior, said, “The work consists of removal of unsuitable materials and filling with fresh materials, a base layer of 15cm of crushed rocks which will be bound with 50cm of asphalt.
“The contractor has been able to lay about 4.5km of crushed rock and 500 meters of earth road. The intention now is to quickly protect the crushed rocks we have laid such that the rain doesn’t wash them off.”
Also, the Okaighele of Ikpako Community, Monday Osarenoto, expressed appreciation to the governor and the financiers for the project, adding, “We are hoping that this road will be completed in due time and not abandoned because this road will bring development to our community and other neighbouring communities.”
Meanwhile, Secretary Oduna Ward Communities, Comrade Ayetan Williams, added: “When this road is completed, it will be a very big plus as it will create a huge access path for the people in the interior communities and will also help address rural-urban migration.”