Ogun State Government is to begin paying compensation to owners of properties demolished by the administration of Senator Ibikunle Amosun, to pave way for the expansion of some road projects across the state.
Already, Governor Dapo Abiodun has approved that the compensation payment should commence to alleviate the sufferings of those affected.
The immediate past administration, had demolished some properties across the state in the desire to expand some roads to as much as 8-lanes without paying compensation to affected owners.
In addition, it was double jeopardy as many of the roads were abandoned midway through the construction process, while others did not take off at all.
Commissioner for Works, Mr. Ade Akinsanya, who spoke on the issue at the weekend, said the governor has approved the compensation payment, which would be in phases.
Akinsanya noted that the demolitions carried out by Amosun’s administration were unnecessary, adding that it ended up compounding the problems being faced by the present government.
According to him, the state government now has billions of compensation claims to contend with in addition to looking for another huge sums of money to complete the abandoned roads.
He noted that the Abiodun administration inherited outstanding debt of N202 billion from the Amosun government on roads alone.
The commissioner said the state government decided on the policy of no demolition in its project execution, except where necessary and unavoidable.
He said the last administration had earmarked some houses for demolition preparatory to the rehabilitation of Kemta-Somorin road in Abeokuta. The project is nearing completion without any demolition carried out, he added.
“Our road design and construction is such that we try to avoid demolition. It is actual not necessary to demolish while constructing roads, unless it is actually unavoidable.
“The same thing applies to bridge construction. Most of the bridges constructed by that regime were a waste of resources. For instance, on the entire stretch of the 19kilometers Atan-Lusada-Agbara road has only one bridge. And the length is short,” he said.
Meanwhile, Abiodun has been praised for his intervention in the compensation process.
A resident of Agbado, who lost many shops to Amosun’s bulldozers, Mr. Abayomi Olanreway, commended the governor for his magnanimity.
He berated the last administration for subjecting people to unwarranted hardship, even as he regretted that the road had been abandoned for more than six years now that the demolition took place.
Olanrewaju, who said he depended on his shops to survive before the demolition, also disclosed that their road was better before the bulldozer moved in for the massive destruction.
Another resident, Taiwo Adebari, also expressed gratitude to the state government, noting that the compensation will help in alleviating some of their sufferings
Meanwhile, the African Industries Group, has disclosed its preparedness to invest over $500 million in the state.
The Chairman of the group, Mr. Raj Gupta made this known at the weekend in an interview with newsmen shortly after a meeting with the governor at Abeokuta.
He said the company which deals mainly in steel and aluminum was interested in growing its business in the state.
Gupta who further noted that the company currently has over 5,000 employees on its payroll, added that he was impressed with the level of infrastructural development embarked upon by the present administration in Ogun.
“We have many industries in the state and we are here to see how we can grow our investment further. We are employing 5,000 people in the state, and our group investment in Ogun State far exceeds 500 million dollars.
“I have to say I was very impressed so far with what we have seen as progress made by the present administration, our business is in the area of steel and aluminum,” he submitted.