Tuesday, 4 May 2021

Ota-­Agbara Axis: Finally, The Goose That Lays The Golden Egg Gets Attention


Loved this analysis of how important the Atan Ota - Agbara Road is

[Last Thursday, the Ogun State Governor, Prince Dapo Abiodun, kicked off the reconstruction of Atan-­Lusada-­Agbara road abandoned by previous administrations and inaugurated the 10.25km Lusada-Igbesa road, reports OKWY IROEGBU-­CHIKEZIE.
There is a link between infrastructure development and economic prosperity because it attracts businesses and lifts the public out of poverty.

Commuting from Ota to Agbara is an ordeal as a result of the dilapidated condition of the road. It becomes tortuous from Atan to Lusada. Don’t forget that the stretch is home to three private universities – Bells University of Technology, Covenant University and Crawford University – that should attract development but it didn’t happen until recently with the administration of Prince Dapo Abiodun.

A tour of the axis showed manufacturing firms that closed their operations with gates and warehouses padlocked, filling stations that are out of use as a result of low traffic on the route.

It is a common sight to see tankers and trailers upturn at will, few commercial vehicles that ply the road carry excess passengers and charge exorbitant fees to make up for delays and longer travel time, wear and tear on their vehicles and the resultant high mortality of their vehicles. The road is lonely and the commonest means of transportation are the motor bikes popularly known as Okada. Before this reporter undertook the journey, she was advised by a colleague that to avoid delays as a result of the bad state of the road, she should board a bike but with a proviso that she must have a spare dress and a scarf because of the dusty nature of the road.

Now, thankfully in 15 months that would be history. Noteworthy, and regrettably, so that several estates that were at various levels of completion were abandoned and several of those real estate companies folded.

Little wonder the flag­off and inauguration were like a carnival as people trooped out and greatful that the administration in Ogun State has given reasons to have a new lease of life. A guide and a resident in Lusada said land speculators had returned. He confided in this reporter that he bought his plot of land for N120,000 several years ago, but was surprised that the same plot is sold now for N600,000 because people saw construction ongoing. He lamented the deprivation they had suffered for years and pleaded with the governor to ensure the completion of the all important road.

Prince Abiodun said the dual event was a symbolic demonstration of his administration’s commitment to the infrastructural development of all parts of the state.

Commending the establishment of the Free Trade Zones (FTZs) in Ogun State by former governor, Otunba Gbenga Daniel, he said the establishment of FTZs was a veritable platform to help boost development, adding that its benefits are not limited to only reducing the fiscal intervention and leveling borders between nations. But also in his words, increases commercial flow; deferral, reduction or duty exemption; improved compliance; development of commerce and industrialisation; inventory tracking; quality control and indefinite storage.

He stated that his administration is not unaware of the resultant effect of the Free Trade Zones in terms of employment generation; poverty alleviation, job creation, local patronage, capacity building and perhaps, product varieties, which in the long run, put the state on the global map of trade and investment.

He said: “It is noteworthy to mention that this facility has grown beyond a Free Trade Zone to a community in its own class. And as such, a comprehensive development of commerce, processing of goods and manufacturing of varieties of products with the use of local raw materials and inputs have really boosted the economy of our dear State at large.”

He, however, lamented the misfortune of the state which though has a Free Trade Zone with great potential, but could not be accessed because of the dearth of infrastructure.

According to him, the inauguration of this road is another milestone in the administration’s march towards industrialisation and economic development of the state.

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