The Minister of Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, on Saturday, described infrastructure, especially roads, as the basis for developing the economy of any community or country.
Fasola stated this in Ilara-Mokin, Ifedore Local Government Area of Ondo State while inaugurating a network of six-kilometer roads, constructed by the Chairman of Toyota Nigeria Limited, Chief Michael Ade-Ojo.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Ade-Ojo, who is a native of Ilara-Mokin, had rehabilitated three roads in the town, while he also constructed another one linking Ilara-Mokin to the neighbouring Ikota community.
NAN also reports that the philanthropist, who is also the proprietor of Elizade University, situated in Ilara-Mokin, had, in 2005, constructed a network of 8.5-kilometer roads for the benefit of residents of the town.
According to the minister, road construction drives development in any community, as both skilled and unskilled workers, professionals and non-professionals will earn their living from the project’s value chain.
He said that the long term impact of road construction included inter-communal integration, exchange of commerce as well as socio-cultural relationships.
“For instance, as Ilara-Mokin and Ikota are now bound together by road, you will see more inter-community development, better understanding, and intermarriages between the two communities.
“My recommendation is that more individuals, who have to give, should emulate Chief Ade-Ojo by investing in this kind of communal roads which are local government roads.
“Three months ago, when he came to invite me for this programme, I did not know how extensive what he had done in road intervention in this part of the state was.
“But, what I saw here today is worthy of commendation and emulation by other well-meaning individuals.
“Government certainly has a role to play, but every organisation and individual, I believe, should come out to invest in infrastructure, because it is going to take everybody’s contribution to build our country,” Fasola said.
Earlier, in his address, Ade-Ojo, who had expressed happiness at the successful completion of the project, called on people to always strive to do something unique to raise the status of their communities.
NAN reports that the occasion was graced by the Ooni of Ife, Oba Adeyeye Ogunwusi, the Deji of Akure, Oba Aladetoyinbo Aladelusi, captains of industry and other eminent personalities.