22nd May, 2012
Once again, the rains have arrived and there are potholes on Lagos roads. Some of these potholes are as large as craters and have been blamed for the long hours spent on the roads by commuters.
In some instances, these potholes have caused accidents resulting in the death of motorists and commuters. A trip on most of the inner roads in Lagos will reveal the appalling state of some of these roads. The onset of the rainy season has to a great extent exposed the poor state of some of them.
Recently, residents of Ikorodu had cause to cry to Governor Babatunde Fashola to rescue them from the traffic gridlock in the area. Their appeal, they stated, became imperative because of the man hours lost daily while commuting in the area. They claimed that they spend about three hours to commute from Ikorodu to Ketu and vice versa, a journey that ordinarily should not take more than thirty minutes.
Apart from Ikorodu residents, commuters plying inner roads in Bariga, Akoka, Abule Egba, Agege, Ikotun, Iyana-Ipaja, Meiran, Alakuko, Okokomaiko, Ajegunle, Oworonshoki, Ogba, Ojodu, Ikeja and others have been groaning over the potholes on the roads which are the daily cause of the gridlock on the roads. Commuters on these routes spend a lot of hours in traffic before getting to their destinations. The long hours spent on these roads have also led to an increase in the fare charged by commuter bus drivers.
It is our contention that these roads should be repaired quickly to ameliorate the suffering of the people. We believe that some of these potholes can be fixed at minimal cost before they developed into large craters. All that is needed is a little effort on the part of those charged with fixing the bad portions of the roads.
This is why we are calling on the Lagos State government to provide more funds for the Lagos State Public Works Corporation, LSPWC, to be able to carry out more repair works on these inner roads. Of late the corporation has been doing its best to repair these roads and the officials must be commended but they need to do more. The number of roads begging for attention are so many that the ones they have repaired so far pale into insignificance in the light of the present challenges.
Happily, the chairman of the corporation, Mr. Gbenga Akintola, has assured residents that his men will not stop work on repair and rehabilitation of the roads, even during the rainy season. Bearing this in mind, we are calling on Governor Fashola to take more than a passing interest in the activities of the corporation. By decentralising the activities of the corporation and with appreciable level of funding, it will be able to increase the tempo of road repairs in all the nooks and crannies of the state.
We also call on the Ministry of the Environment to step up work on the completion of the drainage projects going on in the state. These projects also hamper free movement of vehicles and contribute to the long hours spent on the road by commuters.