The Edo Government says it has so far awarded about 886 kilometres of roads for construction since 2016 that the present administration assumed office.
State Commissioner for Roads and Bridges, Newton Okojie, who disclosed this on Thursday in Benin during a news conference, noted that 546 of these kilometres of road had since been completed.
According to him, the briefing became necessary due to the pocket of protests that engulfed the state in recent time over complaints on deplorable state of roads in some parts of the state.
Okojie said, “One of the principal focus of these agenda is infrastructural development; the dream is to make Edo State the preferred destination by 2050.
“I want reassure the people of Edo State that the governor remains focus and 100 per cent committed to make the dream come true.
“A study carried out by one of our consultants in 2016 showed that Edo has about 9700 kilometres of roads cutting across its landscape; and going by the rate communities are expanding today and selling lands, we know that the figure would have increased by now.
“Out of the 9700 kilometres, about 2700 kilometres are paved; the remaining 7000 kilometres are unpaved.
“Also, there is a total length of about 763 kilometres of Federal roads in Edo, all of which are paved. I am giving this information to give the public a glimpse of the enormity of the size of the challenge facing the state in having to construct an outstanding of 7000 kilometres length of road.
“When we came on board, the first task the governor gave us was to come up with a plan to close the infrastructural deficit as regards roads in the state.
“He told us specifically that he does not want us to plan for two years, but give sustainable and implementable plan for the next 30 years. He said he will implement this plan for the remaining part of his administration to show to the people that the plan is actually implementable and handover to the next regime to continue from there.”
The commissioner said the state had set out a plan to construct 3100 kilometres of roads within the next 30 years if resources permits.
He noted that road construction work have slowed down in recent time due to incessant rainfall in the state. He appealed for patience assuring that work would begin in full as soon as dry season sets in.
Also speaking the State Commissioner for Environment and Sustainability, Jonathan Lawani blamed improper disposal of refuse for flooding which has caused some portion of roads to failure.