A civil society organization, the People’s Voice Advocacy Network, has called upon the Governor of Kwara State, Mallam Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq, to reconsider the location of the proposed flyover bridge from Unity Road to Okoolowo in the state.
In a press statement issued on Monday by the organization’s Publicity Secretary, Comrade Isiaka Yusuf Obe, the group emphasized the importance of conducting a thorough Needs Assessment before determining the location and funding of critical infrastructural projects such as bridges, roads, health facilities, and educational institutions. This, they argued, is to prevent misallocation of resources and the squandering of taxpayers’ money.
The statement highlighted the group’s concerns, stating, “The People’s Voice Advocacy Network disapproves of the Kwara State Government’s selection of Unity Road for its proposed flyover, instead of addressing the pressing need for the structure in the Okoolowo area. Residents, motorists, and marketers utilizing the Okoolowo road have long been at risk due to numerous accidents along that corridor, which serves as an interstate meeting point.”
The organization underscored the urgency of constructing a flyover or underpass bridge at the Okoolowo junction to enhance safety, given the frequent accidents resulting in loss of lives and property.
They expressed disappointment in what they perceived as the government’s disregard for the well-being of the people by choosing Unity Road over Okoolowo.
Referring to the flyover at Tanke as a cautionary tale, the group warned against repeating the mistake of neglecting community input.
They urged the government to consider the Eisenhower Matrix, emphasizing the importance of prioritizing projects based on their importance and urgency.
The statement argued that while road expansion might suffice for Unity Road, Okoolowo requires a flyover due to its importance and urgency in addressing safety concerns.
The organization also expressed dissatisfaction with the progress and quality of work on the ongoing Tunde Idiagbon Bridge.
They appreciated the government’s corrective measures but called for accountability by disclosing the initial contractors responsible for the project and prosecuting them for substandard work.
The statement urged the Council for the Regulation of Engineering in Nigeria (COREN) to fulfill its statutory responsibility and ensure that the interests of the people are safeguarded in infrastructure projects.
In conclusion, the People’s Voice Advocacy Network emphasized the importance of proactive measures in preventing risks to road users and urged the government to prioritize projects based on their significance and immediacy.