By Rotimi Ijikanmi
Isanlu-Isin (IOmu-Aran) – The Federal Government is to award a N58 billion contract for the Bida-Sachi-Patigi Road and the Napenko Bridge along that road, which links Kwara with two other States, Niger and Kogi.
The Minister of Information and Culture, Alhaji Lai Mohammed announced this on Saturday at the celebration of the 2019 Igbomina Day and launch of N200 million Development Fund at Isanlu Isin community, near Omu-Aran in Kwara state.
Ignomina is an ethnic group of the Yorubas predominantly found in parts of Kwara, Osun and Oyo states while Igbomina Day is celebrated to showcase the culture, values of the people and mobilise fund for their common development.
Mohammed, an Igbomina and the chairman of the 11th edition of the biennial event said the project was one of the biggest coming to Kwara.
“I think that, undoubtedly one of the biggest projects that are coming to Kwara is the award, by the Federal Government, of the N58 billion Naira contract for the Bida-Sachi-Patigi Road.
“The project includes the Napenko Bridge along that road, which links Kwara with two other States, Niger and Kogi.
“This bridge is the shortest link between the North and the South.
“Even though we know its importance, it was when the Jebba-Mokwa bridge got bad that some travellers discovered its strategic importance.
“When completed, the bridge will boost economic activitities for our people in Kwara, just like for the people of Kogi and Niger,” he said.
The minister also explained to the people that the temporary stop in the rehabilitation process of the Ilorin-Kabba road was due to the rains.
“As you know, rain and bitumen are not friends. So as soon as the rains are over and funds are made available, work will resume on the road,” he said.
Mohammed said he was not oblivious of the developmental needs of the Igbominas hence he had been striving to also contribute his own quota in that regard.
“The rehabilitation of some township roads in Oro and Omu Aran, which I facilitated and where work is either completed or ongoing, is an example of such efforts.
“I am also happy to announce that one of my friends, whom I approached for support, has agreed to provide medical equipment for the Primary Health Centre at Oro as well as educational materials for the University of Ilorin.
” I am making more contacts which I expect to come to fruition soon, and help bring development to our community,” he said.
The minister congratulated the organisers of the event, especially for making the issue of development the focus of the celebration.
He noted that community development projects complement the efforts of the Federal and State Governments to bring development to the people.
Mohammed announced personal donation of N2 million and additional N11 million mobilised from friends, some co-ministers and well wishers as contributions to the development fund.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports Mohammed and seven other sons of Igbomina were given merit awards for their contributions to the communities.
The other awardees are Chief Cornelius Adebayo, Sen. Sulaiman Ajadi, Prof. Kenneth Adeyemi, Prof. Sulyman Abdulkareem, Otunba Mathew Jolayemi, Alhaji Kamoru Yusuf and Late Prof. James Bamidele.
Mr Timothy Adebayo, the President of “Omo Ibile Igbomina” the organiser of the event, said the N200 million fund raising would be deployed for the completion of some infrastructure including Igbomina Community Radio, Igbomina House in Ganmo, Ilorin.
The event was attended by Kwara Deputy Governor, Kayode Alabi, traditional rulers prominent sons and daughters of Igbomina, among others.