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Bad Roads Stall Ogun Industrial Push

Recently, Ogun state has been at loggerheads with neighbouring states to sustain more investments within the state. Despite playing a major host to major production factories, its deplorable road networks still put a peg on the state’s industrial revolution.

Ogun state, which had once held the flag of industrialization for the country, appears to be gradually losing its position to Lagos, Rivers and Abuja, as investors are beginning to relocate due to poor road networks.

From 2013, the state moved up steadily within a five-year period. The state generated N13.78bn in 2013; N17.5 in 2014; N34.6bn in 2015; N72.98bn in 2016 and N74.84bn in 2017 with a total of N286.67bn.

These days, however, the state appears to be on a downward trajectory. The National Bureau of Statistics published that the IGR of Ogun State reduced by N13.6m in 2019 (N70,922,590,495.89) compared to what the state generated in 2018 (N84,554,199,593.67).

Similarly, the state’s investment profile moved from a drastic increase of 74.56bn in the first half of 2019 to a 30.490bn reduction in the second half.

With this data, the state may experience a gradual decline in revenue generation and investments for 2020 if the decaying road infrastructures are not improved upon.

In the latest report by the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Lagos has attracted the highest level of manufacturing investment as the utilization capacity in 2019 has grown in factories, ahead of Ogun state.

On the frontline of this are local manufactures as well as small and medium scale business owners who suffer losses of goods, property damages and an increase in the transportation of products which, in turn, hike retail prices.

Tolulope, a local manufacturer, said: “I go out to buy materials for my products and spend about four hours on the road of just 45miuites. Because the road is bad, the transit fare would be increased. Combining the stress I went through, the payment made on transportation and the time spent in production, I am left with no choice to increase [to] the higher price.”

Also, managers of tourist centres have also claimed that bad roads are affecting the growth of tourism and festival celebrations in the state.

An economic analyst who spoke under anonymity said: “Ogun is an industrial state. It has all the necessary resources that help to boost livelihood and be suitable for doing business. The state has major companies’ headquarters here but the bad roads that lead into the state would contribute to a great its loss. The best the governor can do is to make the state motorable for business owners and investors. If the proper infrastructure is in place, be sure that the stat would surpass even Lagos.”

Some major deplorable roads leading into the state’s industrial city include the Lagos- Badagry Expressway, Sango-Ota expressway, Ifo- Abeokuta expressway, Sagamu – Interchange expressway, Ibafo-Mowe axis, Ota-Agbara axis and the Abeokuta-Ibadan expressway.

The poor road infrastructure has, however, attracted interventions by the state government and federal ministry of works, as some palliative measures and repair works are being carried out to ease the traffic on the road.

The state governor, Dapo Abiodun, has equally promised to channel all efforts in ensuring that the state continues in development thereby ensuring that all bad roads are repaired.

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