The New Face of Ibadan

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Staff of Oyo State Waste Management Authority
Staff of Oyo State Waste Management Authority

Abiola Ajimobi, governor of Oyo State, has put in place a policy designed to move Ibadan from the dirtiest to the cleanest city in Nigeria

|  By Augustine Adah  |  Feb. 4, 2013 @ 01:00 GMT

IBADAN, the capital of Oyo State, used to be the dirtiest city in Nigeria where refuse were dumped indiscriminately by residents. The indiscriminate dumping of waste by the residents had led to the blockage of several drainages in the town. That is why Ibadan is prone to flooding during rainy seasons. For instance, between 2011 and 2012, more than 150 people lost their lives as a result of floods of unimaginable proportions.

But the present administration under Governor Abiola Ajimobi has evolved a policy to make the city one of the cleanest in the country.  Between 2011 and last year, more waste disposal vehicles were procured by the state government to evacuate refuse from every part of the town to dump sites. To effectively manage the waste, the government has established an agency known as Oyo State Solid Waste Management Authority. With the establishment of the agency, a  facelift has been given to Ibadan town. Adebisi Adesina, chairman, Oyo State Solid Waste Management Authority, said, in addition, the street cleaning initiative embarked upon by the agency had been remodeled.

“More refuse bins have been taken to major routes to curtail indiscriminate dumping of refuse,” Adesina said.  The new approach has increased the volume of evacuated wastes from 15,000 metric tonnes in December 2011, to 37,784.57 metric tonnes in March 2012. Mohammed Ibrahim, residing at Iwo road, Ibadan, said the present administration’s effort at making Ibadan one of the cleanest towns has started yielding result. “If you come to Ibadan about three years ago and now, you would notice the difference,” Ibrahim said.

Abiola Ajimobi
Abiola Ajimobi

Ibadan is also a busy town, with a population of about 1.3 million people, according to the 2006 population census figure. A lot of business activities thrive in the city. It is a major center for trade in cassava, cocoa, cotton, timber, rubber, and palm oil. The main industries in the area are involved in  processing agricultural products; tobacco processing and cigarette manufacturing, flour-milling, leather-work and furniture-making. There are also an abundance of clay and kaolin deposits and aquamarine activities in its environs. Besides, there are several cattle ranches, a dairy farm as well as a commercial abattoir in Ibadan. The usual gridlock in the town always provides an opportunity for young men and women to hawk different kinds of wares along the major roads especially from the tollgate to Iwo road junction.

Several tertiary and post primary institutions exist in the city. For example, the first university to be set up in Nigeria was the University of Ibadan.  It was established as a college of the University of London in 1948, and later converted into an autonomous university in 1962. It has the distinction of being one of the premier educational institutions in Africa.  The Polytechnic, Ibadan, is also located in the city. There are also numerous public and private primary and secondary schools located in the city. Other noteworthy tertiary institutions in the city include the University of Ibadan Teaching Hospital, also known as University College Hospital, UCH, which is the first teaching hospital in Nigeria; International Institute of Tropical Agriculture, IITA, the Nigerian Institute of Social and Economic Research, NISER,  the Cocoa Research Institute of Nigeria, the Nigerian Horticultural Research Institute, NIHORT, and the Institute of Agricultural Research and Training, IAR&T,  and the Forestry Research Institute of Nigeria.

The cost of living in Ibadan is relatively cheap compared with other major cities like Lagos and Abuja. It is in Ibadan, especially in Mapo area, that one can still rent a one room apartment for as low as N500 a month. The town is also known for its relative peace apart from the recent crisis in the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, which has threatened the peace of the city. The lingering crisis between supporters of Lamidi Mukaila, aka, auxillary, and Lateef Akinsola, aka, Tokyo, has led to the death of innocent people in the town.

The means of transport in the town include taxis, mini buses, private and commercial cars and motor cycles. All fares are negotiable. To boost the transport system in the state, Alao Akala, former governor of the state, revived the state moribund Trans City Company in 2008, when he bought 55 brand new buses to boost its fleet.

The city is surrounded by four rivers with many tributaries. They are, Ona River in the North and West; Ogbere River towards the East; Ogunpa River flowing through the city and Kudeti River in the Central part of the metropolis. Ibadan has a tropical wet and dry climate with a lengthy wet season and relatively constant temperatures throughout the course of the year. Ibadan’s wet season runs from March through October. November to February forms the city’s dry season, during which Ibadan experiences the typical West African harmattan. The mean total rainfall in Ibadan is 1420.06 mm, falling in approximately 109 days. There are two  months of peak rainfall in June and September.

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