Being the speech delivered by His Excellency Seyi Makinde, the Executive Governor of Oyo State, at the Sod-Turning Ceremony for the Senator Rashidi Ladoja GRA and the Official Flag off of the Construction of the 32Km First Phase of the Ibadan Circular Road on Thursday, September 29, 2022.
Today is the day we celebrate one of our elder statesmen here in Oyo State. He has been like a father to me, and even when though we sometimes disagree as most fathers and sons would, when it comes to governance, we both want the best for the good people of Oyo State.
The twin events we are hosting today – the sod-turning ceremony for the Senator Rashidi Ladoja GRA and the official flag off of the construction of the 32km first phase of the Ibadan Circular Road – are a tribute to Baba – His Excellency, Senator Rashidi Adewolu Ladoja.
We are honoured to have my brother, His Excellency Governor Samuel Ortom here to perform the sod turning and flag off ceremonies. About a year ago, you joined us to commission the reconstructed 65km Moniya-Ijaiye-Iseyin Road. On behalf of the government and good people of Oyo State, we say thank you and welcome once again to the Pacesetter State.
As our city continues to grow and our economy expands, there is a need for more housing across income groups. And we are using various means to achieve this. We have Public Private Partnerships where the government provides the land, and the private developers come in and develop it. We have also created new GRAs where the government partners with private firms on a site and infrastructure deal to ensure that amenities such as electricity supply from the grid, roads, water and so on are available in the GRAs and the land is sold to members of the public to develop. These arrangements are contributing to the development of our cities while also providing more houses for the growing population and raising revenue for the government.
As mentioned earlier, we chose to name this GRA the Senator Rashidi Ladoja GRA because of his great contributions to the growth of Oyo State. One of those contributions is conceiving the Ibadan Circular Road. There have been misconceptions as to whose idea it was to build the Ibadan Circular Road, some attributed it to the late Governor Lam Adesina. However, we have here with us today, the person who saw the future and thought of how to ease traffic congestion within the city of Ibadan. In a way, this event is about giving honour to whom honour is due.
Yes, the idea behind the Ibadan Circular Road was based on proven economic realities. Almost 20 years down the line, we now live with those realities. And so, like all great ideas, even if they tarry, they refuse to die.
When we came in, we met an attempt at bringing the Ibadan Circular Road to life. And we commend the last administration for at least seeing the benefit of building this road. Well, that plan failed. But here we are today, giving a new life to this project.
As you will see when we get to that site, the road construction has already started and is about 7.6% complete. We are confident that in the next 12 months, Messrs. Craneburg Construction Company Limited will complete the 32km East-End Wing of this project.
The entire 110km project is geographically situated within the Ibadan metropolis, with links to Egbeda, Ona-Ara, Lagelu, Akinyele, Ido and Oluyole Local Government Areas. Whereas this first phase, the East-End Wing runs from Akilapa on Lagos – Ibadan Expressway and will end at Egbeda (Asejire) on Ibadan – Ife Expressway. The 32km East-End Wing awarded to Messrs. Craneburg Construction Company Limited has six (6) bridges and two (2) interchanges.
Without a doubt, it will help eliminate congestion along the busy Lagos/Ibadan Expressway, by offering alternative routes. It will also generate income for Oyo State as the road will be tolled.
I said before that the twin projects are a tribute to Baba Ladoja. You already know that the GRA has been named after him. That is why it is called the Senator Rashidi Ladoja GRA.
It is my privilege on this 29th day of September 2022, to commemorate and celebrate the 78th birthday of my father, Senator Rashidi Ladoja by renaming the 110km Ibadan Circular Road as the Senator Rashidi Ladoja Circular Road.
On this note, I shall now yield the podium to my father, His Excellency, Senator Rashidi Ladoja, after which my brother, His Excellency Governor Samuel Ortom will speak before we proceed to the site for the sod-turning, and then drive out to the Senator Rashidi Ladoja Highway for the official flag-off, all to the glory of God and for the benefit of the good people of Oyo State.
Thank you, and God bless you.
September 29, 2022