Kwara State Executive Council has approved the setting up of a teaching hospital to support the training of medical students and related professionals by the Kwara State University, a major step that involves huge facility upgrades at the General Hospital Ilorin (GHI) which has been adopted for the purpose as well as legislations to guide its operations.
Commissioner for Health Dr. Amina Ahmed El-Imam told a press conference on Wednesday that the council observed that recent facility upgrades under the AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq administration had earlier qualified GHI as a postgraduate training health institution and went ahead to approve additional N906.7m seed fund to push through the historic transition.
“The proposed seed fund will meet cost of infrastructural facelift and construction of new ones, equipment upgrades, administrative changes, and address manpower needs to support training of medical students, which is complementary to the ongoing postgraduate training,” El-Imam told reporters, adding that “this will be of immense benefits to the people of Kwara State and the nation at large.”
She said the council approved for the government to present a bill on ‘establishment of the Kwara State Teaching Hospital and related matters’ to the House of Assembly.
At a council meeting on Wednesday, the government also approved the award of redesigning and wholesale rebuilding of the iconic Kwara Hotel to Craneburg Construction Company Limited to a five-star hospitality facility at the sums of N17b.8bn for a duration of 24 months, according to Commissioner for Business, Innovation and Technology Hon. Damilola Yusuf.
To be done through contract financing model to ensure prompt delivery, the construction and furnishing will be the most comprehensive since the legacy was constructed by the Brigadier-General David Bamigboye regime in 1975, clearly giving it an edge over any other facility in the entire North Central.
“The contract award followed a long procurement process that began in September 2023,” Yusuf told reporters.
That comes as the Kwara State Ministry of Works and Transport also announced immediate reconstruction works on the Wahab Folawiyo (Unity Road) Road in Ilorin, the state capital, following the state executive council’s approval of the overhauling of the major artery road that empties into downtown Ilorin.
Coordinating Commissioner for Works and Transport AbdulQuawiy Olododo told reporters that phased works on the road, such as asphalt milling, will begin from next week with minimal drags on vehicular traffic at every stage of the work.
The contractor will complete work on one lane before working on the other to reduce traffic gridlock, Olododo added.
He said dozens of traffic management officers will be deployed while government — to lessen the impacts — will also divert traffic through Obbo Road, Coca Cola Road, and Police Road. Some bad spots on the three are to undergo immediate fix, Olododo added.
He said further information on traffic management will be communicated to the public as preparation gets underway, assuring the people of adequate care while the work lasts.
“We are not demolishing any private properties and business premises not sited on government’s setbacks will not be eaten into in any way,” according to Olododo.
The road, which history began in 1976, is a great legacy of late Colonel Ibrahim Taiwo and George Agbazika Innih.
The cabinet observed that the artery road has outlived its lifespan as it has started failing after decades of heavy use.
The council approval of the work fell under the urban renewal and developmental road projects of the administration, conceived to lessen travel time, boost economic growth, give a new look to the capital city, and improve the living conditions of the people.
Following extensive briefings, including procurement details, the council approved the total reconstruction of the busy Wahab Folawiyo four-lane dual carriageway (Unity Road) in Ilorin — a major step that aligns with the concerns of Governor AbdulRahman AbdulRazaq that many of the roads in the capital city have long outlived their engineering lifespan, Olododo said.
The contract was awarded to the A-list Craneburg Construction firm at the cost of N1,513,528,195.18.
In what is a preparation for the future of one of the major traffic-prone axis of the metropolis with a concentration of banks and other businesses, the cabinet has also approved the award of construction of a modern flyover to collect the traffic at Unity roundabout to Craneburg Construction at the cost of N8.4bn for the duration of 12 months.
The approval comes with a clear instruction to the contractors to have careful plans to execute the project in manners that lessen the typical hitches of any urban renewal projects, Olododo quoted the Governor as telling the council.
“Because of the peculiarity of that axis of the metropolis, the Governor directed that contractors are to devise means to as much as possible avoid outright closure of the road. They are to pay extra attention to this. This is to ensure convenience for the people amid this huge development,” the commissioner said.
The cabinet, Olododo stated, observed that the costs of the urban renewal projects in Kwara are characteristically modest, compared to similar infrastructural projects in other parts of the country.
The council, meanwhile, has approved the revocation and re-award or review of some ongoing road contracts, including Ilesha Gwanara and Owode-Ofaro-Alabe road, for poor performance or delay in their delivery, while it called for speedy completion of others, including the Orisa bridge in Oro Ago in Ifelodun local government area of the state.
The Governor has also directed that the approaching sections of the road to the Orisa bridge be fixed as soon as possible, while the Iyana Shonga Road in Edu local government are to be evaluated for rehabilitation works, according to the commissioner.
The government has secured multibillion naira road projects that connect different parts of the state, especially Kwara North and South, the Commissioner added.
“His Excellency informed the cabinet that work is to begin shortly on some major roads in Kwara North and Kwara South as contractors have been mobilised to site with at least N40bn. This is what His Excellency has attracted as our major gain from some recent policy initiatives of the Federal Government,” according to the commissioner.
He listed the major roads as Kosubosu-Kaiama-Bode Sa’adu (130km); Lafiagi-Shonga-Bacita (83km); Okuta-Gwanara-Bukoro (32km); and Offa-Ojoku-Afon-Eiyenkorin (49km) which will burst out at Odo-Otin local government in Osun State.
The commissioner also said that some of the roads and river crossings captured under the Rural Access and Agricultural Marketing Project will soon begin, including Afon -Sapati Oko-Igbotele; Mondala-Yowere-Agbonna; Kpandarako-Ginda-Kusomunu-Kachitako-Tsakpata Lealea-Gulufu-Bacita; Lafiagi-Effagi-Pututa; Ajase Ipo-Igbonla-Agbamu-Osun boundary; Ojoku-Illa market; Ijagbo-Aperun-Adeleke-Igbawere; Igbaja-Ofarese-Wale-Agbeku; Gerewu-Eiyenkorin-Okolowo-Express-Peeke-Dongari-Ogundele; Kaiama-Kemanji; and Oro-Sanmora, among others.
Olododo, meanwhile, also gave updates to the council on some ongoing construction works, saying the General Tunde Idiagbon Flyover is going on steady and will be completed in the first quarter of 2024.
The government has also continued massive rehabilitation works on at least 70 roads within and outside the capital city in the first phase. The roads include Sawmill Garage; Olorunshogo; Adabata; Emir’s Road; Taiwo-Surulere; Sefura Junction; Airport Sawmil-Taiwo; Ita Merin-Offa Grammar School road; Offa General Hospital; and Irra Road, among several others.
The commissioner also told reporters that the ministry has established a desk office contact for residents of the state to seek clarifications or report any issue to the government on ongoing projects. The contact telephone lines are 08106844487; 08132119543.
Hon. Bola Olukoju
Commissioner for Communications
December 13, 2023