Lagos residents, motorists as well as commuters have continued to lament and groan under deplorable conditions of roads across the metropolis without an end in sight to the nightmare.
There is hardly any stretch of road across the commercial nerve centre of the nation that is totally free of potholes, including the recently repaired stretch between Cele and Iyana-Isolo on the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway. The section by Ilasa Bus Stop inward Oshodi, has already become a gully with a massive pothole. Directly under the pedestrian bridge, at Mechanic bus stop, Iyana-Isolo and Five-Star, are also riddled with massive potholes while the entire service lane on both sides of the expressway, between Charity and Oshodi, is terribly bad.
Specifically, Apapa roads are worst hit by this decadence. Whether accessing Apapa through Oshodi-Tin Can end or through Wharf Road, the situation has remained irredeemable for years now. The experience navigating through Apapa during rainy season becomes more terrible as vehicles break down, heavy-duty trucks overturn or get stuck in the mud while motorists disembark at very terrible sections of the roads to push rickety and articulated vehicles thereby causing traffic gridlock on the roads. However, in May when the federal government flagged off the reconstruction of Wharf Road, Apapa, Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, assured that the next road to be given consideration for reconstruction within Apapa, would be Tin Can/Coconut section of the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway because of the importance of the expressway to both Apapa port and Tin Can port. Fashola added that discussions had already begun on the issue at the federal executive council level. Also speaking on plans to reconstruct Tin Can axis of the expressway recently, the minister said “I just want to appeal to residents of Apapa, to people whose livelihood depends on Apapa, that Apapa is one of the priority roads under our priority of works to solve roads that lead to critical ports. We also have Calabar on our radar. But one after the other, there would be an enduring solution. According to him, “Year on year, you will see that the provisions for the budget funding of Apapa and the Tin Can Island and Mile 2 to Oworonsoki Roads, all of which evacuate the Port have not been sufficient really to deal with the cost. The cost that we are getting from the contractor there is in the region of about N100billion and above and the annual budgetary appropriation that is approved for us is about N7 billion. And then there are debts that we met. I therefore appealed to residents and other users of the road to exercise a little more patience”, Fashola noted. Related Maritime workers threaten strike over Oshodi-Apapa Expressway.
The situation is the same on Isolo/Ikotun/Egbe Road, Ikeja, Ogba, Ojodu, Oshodi, Gbagada, Abule-Egba, Iyana Ipaja, Agege and numerous other areas of Lagos metropolis.Whenever it rains in Lagos, residents are thrown into panic, despair, and anguish, as the already deplorable roads become almost impassable.
From Lagos Island to the Mainland, the expressways to high streets and the inner streets, it is lamentations by residents as the roads are neglected and abandoned by both state and local governments.
Just as motorists and commuters plying Apapa/Oshodi Expressway on daily basis are lamenting the agony they go through as a result of the deplorable road condition coupled with the daily gridlock, motorists and commuters on Agege Motor Road, are not spared of this harrowing experience.
From the Mushin-Idi-Oro axis to Ojuelegba end is in a terrible state that even trailer and tanker drivers now avoid the ever-busy highway, as the potholes on the road have become a serious threat to them, but those of them that dare the dangerous potholes always have a sad tale to tell as their vehicles usually break down.
The smaller vehicles plying the road are always attacked by traffic robbers who take advantage of gridlock caused by the bad portions of the road and broken down vehicles.
A journey of few minutes takes hours as a result of bad roads across the state. It is now a common sight to see overturned trailers, tankers and containers and broken down vehicles on a daily basis, especially when it rains.
Road Safety and LASTMA officials are not helping matters, as they do not do their work as they should, but rather look for motorists to extort and worsen the traffic situation.
Mr. Hakeem Sule, a resident of Jakande Housing Estate Mile 2, was very sad while speaking with our correspondent on the situation of Lagos roads which has paralysed movement and social activities in the city.
According to him, “Government at the local level is practically non-responsive as it is not doing anything about bad roads in their domains. I don’t drive my car out any more because of the deplorable condition of the roads across Lagos. I am not prepared to work for Lagos mechanics.”
Speaking in like manner, Mr. Vincent Agu, a businessman along Mile 2 Expressway, said one can hardly find a road without potholes now and this has contributed immensely to the high rate of accidents and deaths in the city. He therefore called on the government to intervene as Lagos residents groan under deplorable road situation in Lagos without hope in sight.
“Aside the bad roads issue, most roads lack proper road signs. Containers are not strapped or hooked properly to the trailer and many drive with bad tyres and no brakes. Government should please do something about this; we can’t keep living like this,” Agu lamented.
A resident of Gowon Estate Egbeda, Mr. Kunle Ayeni, said: “Government needs to wake up. Something has to be done, as people are dying as a result of these roads. The road leading to Gown Estate in Egbeda is terrible and plying it means regular visit to the mechanics.”
Also lamenting the deplorable condition of roads across Lagos metropolis, a commercial bus driver who simply introduced himself as Emeka, said the dilapidated state of the roads across the city, is primarily due to blocked drains, pointing out that because of the blocked drains, whenever it rains, the roads become flooded.
According to him, the authorities who are supposed to maintain the drains are not up and doing, stressing that their insensitivity to routine drainage maintenance is responsible for the situation on Lagos roads as the flood water continues to tear the roads apart.