Kogi-West Hails Dangote Road Construction

The multiplier effect of having in place standard infrastructure, such as roads, was at the weekend espoused by some communities in Kogi State. These communities, located on the 43-kilometre long Obajana-Kabba road in Kogi State under construction, were upbeat at the prospect the road will bring to their settlement upon completion.

Markets and commercial activities are now springing up and booming along the road as communities can easily transport their produce to consumers.  A yam trader at the Ayegunle  market, located on the reconstructed road, Mr. Muhammad Salihu, expressed satisfaction that the road is almost completed. He revealed that his yam business, which was in comatose before now, is now booming.

Basking in the euphoria of the commercial activities that have started springing up along the Obajana-Kabba road, traditional and community leaders of the once sleepy towns took turns to eulogise Dangote Group President, Aliko Dangote for bringing “this massive road project in our land.”

For instance, the Bajana of Obajana Land, Oba Idowu Senibi, revealed that Obajana was like a village before the coming of Dangote Cement Plant. However, with the siting of the palnt in the community, it has grown the community’s population to about 70,000 residents, all eking a living from the activities in the plant. He added that the firm’s operations  have further raised the standard of living in the environment.

The royal father described the project as “gigantic and the first of its kind” anywhere in the country. “Dangote is our son. We would protect his huge investment and gigantic concrete road. I am happy that this is happening in my lifetime and in my Kingdom. This is a great opportunity for us and many generations to come. Our community will be opened; as you can see, vehicles and commercial activities have started coming up, so it is a boost for our community and economy,” the monarch said.

Corroborating Oba Senibi, Akpata Land traditional head, Frederick Durojaiye Balogun, said his people are very proud of project, adding that Dangote Cement plant in Obajana has brought honour and respect to their kingdoms. “Dangote’s presence has brought a total turnaround to our lives. Also, permit me to appreciate the Federal Government for this joint effort. We are very grateful,” he said.

Speaking in the same breath, Okebunku land traditional ruler in Kabba-Bunu Local Government, Timothy Omonile, while commending the company, urged other corporate bodies to emulate what the Group has done as it is the “only way Nigeria can develop its economy and infrastructure.”

Commuters were also not left out in the praise for the Dangote Group. A commercial driver, Adeniyi Adeniji, said he has been plying the road for several years. According to him, prior to the reconstruction works on the road, it commuters usually spent over two hours to ply the 43 km road, a journey which now takes them less than 45 minutes. This, he said, has improved people’s turnaround time, passengers’ comfort, and reduced vehicles’ wear and tear tremendously.

Ayegunle Igun Bunu Kabba Local Government youth leader, Albert Monday, expressed his group’s satisfaction  with the road, especially as accidents’and criminalities’ rate has reduced on the axis drastically.

Another resident, a Septuagenarian and retired Police officer, Mathew Robinson, could not hide his joy with the work done on the road. Pa Robinson, who resides at Kilometer 29 end of the road in Ayegunle Igun Bunu Kabba Local Government, expressed optimism that when the road is completed, kidnapping and armed robbery incidences will be completely wiped out in the region. “Even unborn babies are very happy and proud of this road now,” he added.

The Project Director, AG-Dangote Construction Company Limited, the firm handling the project, Olatunbosun Kalejaiye, explained that 29km of the road has so far been completed. He said the road project was part of the Corporate Social Responsibility (CRS) of Dangote Cement Plc.,  adding that the road will be delivered by December this year.

The Project Manager, Akhimienho Emmanuel, said when completed, the road can last for more than 50 years.

It would be recalled that Dangote had expressed concerns over the huge sum of money used in road repairs, hence, the decision to revolutionise Nigerian roads with rigid concrete pavement (concrete roads). He said once the concrete road revolution is in place, resources used in road repairs and maintenance would be channeled to other more important needs of the nation.

“We are going to be building concrete roads in the country so that anytime we build a road, we do not have to go back to repair after the third raining season, but move on and use the resources to address other pressing needs of Nigeria,” Dangote had said.

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