Lagosians Cry Out Over Bad Roads

Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Raji Fashola.

Lagosians in South-West Nigeria have cried out over the deplorable state of roads in most parts of the state. They are calling on the state government to act fast as the roads are fast turning into death traps.

Residents and workers in Ogba who spoke with our reporters this morning specifically mentioned the Retail Market, Wempco  and Acme roads, Adeniyi Jones and Ijaiye road from Mobil filling station axis to Excellence Hotel junction as well as Yaya Abatan, College  Road, opposite Conoil Filling Station, Adekoya Street and Oke-Ira roads, as areas in very bad state.

Most of the motorists lamented that the bad roads had at different times destroyed their vehicles, especially tyres which were often damaged. A tricycle operator, who simply identified himself as Lukman, said the Retail Market axis of the road that links Wempco road with

Ogba bus stop has become a death trap. “Everyday, we witness unnecessary traffic gridlock here because vehicles can no longer move freely. Last month alone, I repaired my shock absorbers more than three times,” he lamented.

Complaints from Lekki have it that roads in Lekki Phase 1 and 2 are all in bad state, especially Bisola Durosimi-Etti Road, end of Admiralty Road, with potholes left to fester like bad wounds, poor drainage construction and absence of constant monitoring units.

• A failed portion of a road in Igbogbo near Ikorodu roundabout, Lagos, Nigeria. Photo: Emmanuel Osodi.

People of Obawole in Ifako-Ijaiye Local Government Area have also cried out over the potholes before and after the Obawole bridge which cause traffic jam. Motorists and commuters now spend at least an hour in the traffic jam caused by the potholes on both sides of the bridge.

A motorist, Mr. Uchenna Agwu said: “I wonder if we actually have a government in this country because I wonder why our roads can be as bad as this and the government is doing nothing about it despite the fact that they collect heavy tax from people.”

Speaking about the Acme-Adeniyi Jones link roads, Mr. Tosin Arowolo, a motorist, condemned the  state government’s failure to fix the roads that have been in bad shape for so long.

The people of Ejigbo, Idimu and parts of Egbeda in Alimosho Local Government Area of the state are also crying out over the state of their roads, especially the abandoned road project from Idimu to Mosalasi and the Idimu-Ejigbo roads which have remained a nightmare for motorists and residents.

A commercial tricycle driver in Ejigbo revealed that their 50 tricycles have been reduced to 20 as a result of the bad roads which damaged them, adding that when they reported the matter to their leaders in the area, they told them to contribute money to repair the roads. In the case of Ayobo-Ipaja road, which has been in a sorry state for years, residents and motorists in the area concluded that the state government has abandoned them as if they are not part of the state. They stated that all they hear is that “after the rains, we will do this and that,” adding that it has been the same story for more than eight years.

Mr. Yemi Adebayo, a lawyer and resident of the area said: “All this noise about the state government performing wonders is rubbish. They will never show this part of the state to the whole world. Is this a symbol of a Mega City?”

“This Ayobo-Ipaja road right from Abesan Estate gate through P&T, Akinyele, Opeki, Church bus stop, Oluwaga, Amule, Ayobo up to the boundary bridge between Lagos and Ogun State in Ayetoro is  not motorable now. Our vehicles are being damaged everyday. Did we offend God?” a  motorist asked in anger.

A female motorist in Abesan Estate who identified herself as Damilola narrated the deplorable state of the roads network in the estate which was constructed by the Jakande administration in the early 80s, saying the roads have remained the same way since they went bad years ago.

A deep pothole beside Ogba retail market this morning. PHOTOS: Emmanuel Osodi.

Says the businesswoman: “all the roads in the estate up to Ashimolowo area, Gate, Federal Junction up to Mr. Biggs at Gowon Estate are eyesore and death traps, yet government pretends as if nothing was happening while we poor masses suffer despite being heavily taxed. Where is the tax payers’ money?

“You need to see the traffic jam every morning and evening at Abesan Gate from Estate and from Iyana-Ipaja where the government has practically abandoned the gullies on the express road. All these are shameful to the state government.”

Residents of Efon Alaye Street and Bammeke Road in Shasha, Egbeda-Akowonjo LCDA have sent a desperate call to the state government to come to their aid as projects on these roads have since been abandoned.

Speaking on the Isheri-Osun-Jakande Estate, Isolo Road, a motorist, Mr. Kehinde said: “When the Fashola administration commenced construction works on the road about two years ago, the residents thought succour had come their way. But since the project had been abandoned, it has worsened our suffering, especially during this rainy season.”

A bus driver, Justine Chukwuma said the Orisumbare-Akowonjo road has been in a state of disrepair for some time. He called on government to alleviate the suffering of the motorists and residents using the road.

Commenting on the first gate and second gate portion and Tin Can gate road, a trailer driver, Mr. Godwin bemoaned the plight of road users.

He said it has become an eyesore, with potholes all over the place. People now fall off motor bikes and cars break down all over the place.

Another road, Tunji-Tope Hill, he said, has gone so bad that it seems the contractors did not do anything. “I remember when the road was being constructed, they used more sand than cement and other cheap materials.”

Ogunnusi road in Ogba area is also in bad shape. Miss Success said the National filing station portion of the road is the worst. She also said the road around Ojodu have become so bad barely a few months after they were constructed. The worst roads are Ore Meta, Baale and Dipo Abbey Streets.

Mr. Robbert who owns a car, observed that Medical Road, Ikeja, has become a nightmare. He stated that it takes 20 to 30 minutes to pass through a road that normally takes three minutes. “That’s how bad the situation of the road has been. It is as if the contractor just collected the money and vanished. The rains have greatly exposed the poor job the contractor did.”

Investigations conducted by P.M.NEWS in Shomolu and Bariga areas of the state also revealed that most of the roads linking various streets have gone terribly bad. They are Adetayo Osho Street, Akoka, Ibukunolu Street, Fola Agoro, Morocco Road, Abule-Ijesha road, Community road, Ilaje and Bariga roads, among others.

In Meiran, a commercial transport operator, Femi Ojo and another driver John Sunday  appealed to the state government to fix the bad roads, saying most of them have abandoned plying the roads to prevent their vehicles from being damaged.

Meanwhile, members of the Lagos State House of Assembly have also expressed serious concern about the bad roads in the state.

They are particularly worried that several road projects awarded by the state government do not last beyond three years rather than the 25 years an average newly constructed road should last.

The lawmakers further expressed their reservations on the floor of the House last week when they were informed that most of the projects in the state are awarded to the China Civil Engineering and Construction Company, CECC, the firm that handled the failed LASU-Iba road.

They expressed their concern when the House summoned the Chief Engineer of the Chinese construction outfit and some senior members of the state executive, including the Special Adviser to Governor Fashola on Works, Mr. Ganiyu Johnson to explain the circumstances that led to the collapse of  a part of the LASU-Iba road, a few years after construction.

According to the House members, most roads constructed just three years ago, have collapsed, causing Lagosians to ask questions concerning the rationale for awarding such contracts to a particular firm.

Specifically mentioning some roads including the Iyana-Ipaja-Egbeda-Isheri road project which has been abandoned by the contractors, the lawmakers compared roads constructed during the Lateef Jakande era, which are still better than the new ones that are now dilapidated and thus concluded that there was a massive problem regarding roads in the state.

Members also complained about the bad roads in their  various constituencies few years after such roads were either constructed or rehabilitated.

The House then set up a five-man committee to probe the immediate cause of the collapsed of part of the LASU-Iba road and make the report available to the House.

In its reaction to the outcry of Lagosians over the bad roads, the state government said it is working on the roads and that they are being fixed one after the other.

Speaking on behalf of the government, the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Opeyemi Bamidele said this morning that the government was aware that many roads are begging for attention in different communities and that work was ongoing on some of them.

Says the commissioner, “work is ongoing on some of the roads, this is also rainy season, as we do one road, another is waiting to be done. The rainy season is slowing down progress of work, so Lagosians should please bear with us.”

—By our reporters

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