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Nigerian Roads: I was quoted out of context – Fashola

Valentine Chinyem

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The minister of works and housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, has said he was quoted out of context by some section of the media on the state of federal roads in the country.

Fashola stated this during a visit to Ilara mokin in Ifedore Local Government Area of Ondo state while inaugurating a 6-kilometre road project funded by the founder of Elizade University, Chief Michael Ade-Ojo.

The minister who maintained that he never said Nigerians have been exaggerating the state of roads across the country, noted that he never used the word ‘exaggeration’, but was quoted out of context.

Speaking on those who challenged him to tour the Nigerian road, the minister said he had travelled around the country on roads to access the condition of federal roads, with an assurance that the federal government would soon commence fixing of the bad roads based on the priority list.

“Let me start from the journey by roads to the 36 states, I have travelled this country by roads for 12 hours everyday and I know what I saw and I have also said what I wanted to say at that press conference, I didn’t use the word exaggerated, but go and listen to what I have said”.

While inaugurating the roads, Fashola called on well-meaning individuals, groups to contribute towards the infrastructural development of their communities to ensure development within communities.

He said: “I want us to understand that infrastructure of any type particularly road construction is the basis for developing economy because of the value change, construction, mining, transport, logistics, labour, and so on. So many professionals and non-professionals, skill and non-skilled workers earn a living from it.

“But the long term impact is the inter-communal relationship, integration, exchange for commerce, social and cultural relationship, so you will see from here that Ikota and Ilara mokin are bonded by road and you will witness more development, better understanding, inter-marriages and other things among them.

“The recommendation I have is that this kind of communal roads that are local government roads, individual can invest in them, help their communities where they are able to do so, either in groups, individual or even in clusters, it is going to take everybody to build this nation.”

He, however, urged other well-meaning Nigerians to emulate the gestures of Chief Ade-Ojo who had singlehandedly developed his community with his personal wealth.

Some of the six kilometres road network constructed by the Founder of Elizade University, Ilara-Mokin, Chief Ade-Ojo included Ikota-Ilara Mokin road and two Ilara township roads.

Fashola reiterated that the federal government would not refund any state that rehabilitates or reconstructs federal roads, adding that the bill for road refund from state governments was on the high side, amounting to #500billion.

 

Tribune