Amidst pomp and circumstance yesterday in Abeokuta, the capital of Ogun State, the State Governor, Senator Ibikunle Amosun, declared open the first ever flyover bridge constructed by any State Government since the creation of Ogun in 1976.
The 4-Lane Overhead Bridge begins at the end of Lalubu Road and opens into the elaborate, international standard 6-Lane Ibara-Totoro Road, which is complete with modern features such as drains, median, greenbelt, walkway, street lights, modern bus-stop and pedestrian bridge with an air-conditioner.
Speaking at the ceremony, Governor Amosun said the massive investment in infrastructure was in fulfilment of his electoral promises to the people of Ogun State. He noted that the new bridge would aid movement of goods and services, ease flow of traffic, reduce manpower-time wasted on the road, thereby improving the productive time of every individual plying the road.
"Our goal is to put our state in the league of advanced economies and make it investors' destination of choice not only in Nigeria but sub-Saharan Africa. To achieve this, we will continue to rehabilitate existing infrastructure and construct not just modern but high-tech infrastructure that will enhance the magnificence of our environment and act as a catalyst for our socio-economic development," Amosun said.
While expressing gratitude to residents, "especially those whose properties gave way to these beautiful edifices that we are constructing across the state", he urged them to exercise more patience and continue to support the administration in its Mission to Rebuild Ogun State.
He called on the Organised Private Sector to take advantage of the enabling environment being provided and partner with the state government to create wealth and achieve good returns on investment.
Amosun commended the past governors of the state, especially former Governor Olusegun Osoba for their achievements. In his welcome address, the state Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Arc. Lekan Adegbite, said the flyover bridge was a product of the vision of Governor Amosun to transform the state.
He explained that every project in the State "comply with the Ogun Standard, which sets benchmarks for others." He cited the international standard Ibara-Totoro Road as an example of the Ogun Standard road, which would be replicated in all the three senatorial districts of the state.
In their separate goodwill messages, Head of Interim National Government, Chief Earnest Shonekan, National Chairman of Action Congress of Nigeria (ACN), Chief Bisi Akande, National Leader of ACN, Chief Bola Tinubu and Leader of Ogun ACN, Chief Segun Osoba, all lauded the achievements of the Senator Amosun-led administration in the area of urban renewal.
Chief Bola Tinubu described Amosun as "an actualizer of our dream and vision."
According to Chief Osoba, "This is the first time I have seen such number of past governors of Ogun attending a government event."
The Chairman of Ogun Traditional Council, Dr Adedotun Gbadebo, likened the unveiling of the first ultra modern flyover bridge to the day "electricity, pipe borne water and railway first came to Abeokuta. Amosun has changed the city from the status of 19th century to the 21st century."
The official opening of the Ibara Bridge was witnessed by ex-governors of Ogun and Ekiti States, former and serving federal and state legislators, Chief Judge of Ogun State, top government functionaries, traditional rulers, captains of industry, media executives, town unions, community development associations, labour unions, market women, non governmental organisations, students, among others.
The bridge was declared open at exactly 1.30pm (13 hours GMT).