Before the swearing-in of Godwin Obaseki as governor of Edo State, most adjourning streets in Benin metropolis were in a state of disrepair as the immediate past government mostly concentrated its road infrastructure development on major roads that led in and out of the state capital and other major cities in the state.
Consequent upon this, those living within these adjourning streets were not having life easier, which in turn made it difficult for them to access the major roads.
However, with the massive reconstruction of these roads, “life is getting easier,” said Iyoyin Shekiri, a fabricator who has his workshop along Wire Road during a tour of rehabilitated roads within the capital city. Shekiri, who expressed joy over the development, noted that the Obaseki-led administration had started to follow the developmental footsteps of his predecessor, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole by making sure citizens and inhabitants have access to good and quality roads.
He said, “Wire Road has never had it good in terms of access to good roads until Governor Obaseki assumed office to redeem the people from the road that had suffered years of abandonment and had become a death trap.”
Shekiri is not alone in this expression of joy. Daniel Ohenhen, also a resident on Wire Road, thanked the governor for doing a good job, and appealed that more of these need to be replicated across the state.
The situation was not different at Nevis Street, one of the streets connecting Mission Road and Forestry Road as residents came out in their large numbers to applaud the governor on his determination to improve the socio-economic well-being of the people through massive road construction and rehabilitation across the state.
The case of Nevis Street is peculiar. It ranked among areas with very marshy terrain which had defied all rehabilitation works carried out until the innovation of using concrete pavement as a lasting remedy.
Other roads in that category include Oba Eweka/Ogbetuo Oni Road, Osabuihien Close GRA, Wire Road, Nevis Road, Ugbor, Nekpenekpe, Oni Street, Jemide/Akhiobare and Ikpokpan Road, GRA.
The Director of Construction in the state Ministry of Works, Mr. John Obanor, explained that from the total figure of 29 roads of over 50km earmarked for rehabilitation, 15 have been completed with either flexible pavement or rigid pavement.
For instance, he said the Ikpokpan Road in the Government Reservation Area (GRA), was done with rigid pavement with concrete to check areas susceptible to erosion. According to him, lkpokpan Road, which was about 60 to 70 metres of rigid pavement, was expected to stand the test of time for a minimum of 25 years.
Explaining the technique behind the construction, Obanor said: “We have done quite well as regards reconstruction and rehabilitation of the roads. In fact, we are sure of completing all these roads before the rains set in proper.