by Dimeji Kayode-Adedeji,
The Ogun State Governor, Ibikunle Amosun, on Monday accused Dangote Cement Company of neglecting its corporate social responsibility in the state.
He said this has led to a strained relationship between him and Aliko Dangote, the business mogul and President of the Dangote Group.
Mr. Amosun stated this at a press conference in his office in Abeokuta.
The Governor said trucks conveying products of the company were major contributors to the damage to roads in the state, which he said the company has refused to contribute to fixing.
“Why I am against Dangote is that the heavy trucks of the company damage the roads. An example is Ilaro-Papalanto road. Is it the cars of our people that destroyed the roads? No! It is the heavy trucks of the company”, he said.
He said Dangote Cement operating in Ibese/Ilaro axis of Ogun West Senatorial District had contributed to damaging some of the roads.
Mr. Amosun said rather than the company to contributing towards the repair of the roads, it has kept mute, although it is known to be making big money in the state.
The governor said the company should rise up to the challenges of social responsibility to the people of the state.
Mr. Amosun disclosed that the state government had concluded financial arrangements for contractors handling road projects to return to sites which they had abandoned due to lack of funds.
Virtually all roads under construction across the state were abandoned over a year ago, following paucity of funds from the government.
Mr. Amosun said he has mobilised the contractors from the Paris Club refund, vowing that no road project would be left uncompleted at the end of his administration.
“We have mobilised our contractors back to sites. We shall ensure that all works are completed before we leave office. We are hopeful that Federal Government will give us another tranche of the Paris fund”, he stated.
The governor also called on the federal government to cede more of its roads to state governments for rehabilitation and construction, noting that the federal government cannot do it alone.
“We want federal government to cede all the federal roads in the state to the state government so as to repair them”, Mr. Amosun stated.
He pointed out that most of the federal roads in the state had been neglected and were in deplorable conditions.
He named some of the roads as Sagamu/Ogijo, Lagos/ Abeokuta, Papalanto-interchange, Lafenwa-Ayetoro, Papalanto/Ilaro and Lagos/ Ibadan.
He said the state government spends about N400 million on federal roads every raining season to make the roads motorable, just as he also disclosed that the federal government was already owing the state N124 billion for repairing federal roads in the state.
“We always use N400 million every raining season to intervene on these roads, we will appreciate if the federal government can cede the roads to us, we have the capacity to do the roads better than what they can do.
“We realize we have two years to leave, Ogun standard is what we believe, we will continue to give our people the dividends of democracy. We have remobilised our contractors two weeks ago, they are now back on site, we will walk our talk”.
Mr. Amosun said some of the roads which the contractors are about to return to work on are the Ilo-Awela road, Moshood Abiola way, OGTV road, Akute road, Atan Agbara road and Akangba/Ilese road.