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Airport Road of agony and despair

By Lamidi Bamidele

Recently, there was a lot of outcry over the deplorable state of the Apapa-Oshodi expressway that leads to  the major seaports in Apapa and Tin-Can Island.

The outcry heightened  especially during the peak of the current rainy season when several sections of the road collapsed on account of flooding, consequently creating traffic nightmares for road users. The development also caused avoidable accidents, especially those involving articulated container-carrying trucks which frequently fell across  the road at different points.

Apart from such incidents bringing traffic to a standstill in most cases with the attendant waste of productive hours, they have also resulted in loss of lives. Prompted by the public outrage engendered by this, the Federal
Government has as usual made promises to rehabilitate the road.

But while the road users wait to see if government will redeem its promise,  another major road leading to the Murtala Muhammed International Airport is not only in a terrible state of disrepair, but crying for urgent attention of the relevant government authorities. For now, it is a tale of lamentation by motorists who spend hours on a journey that ordinarily should not take more than ten minutes.

For them accessing the Murtala Muhammed Airport through Ajao Estate is like the Biblical head of a cow passing through the eye of a needle. The traffic bottleneck which is now a common feature in the area is said to  have been like this for quite some time and they attribute the problem to some potholes at Ajao Estate Bus-stop. And this is attested to by the now common long “bumper-to-bumper” traffic jam  from this particular bus-stop to the NAHCO junction and
beyond on any particular day and time.

On seeing Vanguard Metro taking pictures of this road, a man in his early forties who identified himself as Uche, a businessman wound down the window glass of his car, and said: “Please take good pictures of the road and expose them. Imagine, I have been in this traffic for close to two hours from the Airport to Oshodi. How many hours did I spend from Holland?”  Continuing he said: “I am now on my way to Apapa, who knows how many hours it will take to get there as the road there is also as bad or even worse”.

Another motorist who simply identified himself as Mr. Akinola in his assessment of the traffic situation along this road said: “The traffic situation is becoming more terrible everyday. Imagine the source of this terrible traffic jam is just a small portion of the road which is just about 20 metres stretch on one side of the road and there has been no response or any concern shown either by FERMA or even the state government”.

CITY BRIEFS

NCF organises symposium on environmental financing

As part of efforts to address global environmental and ecological problems in an era of inadequate funding, the Nigeria Conservation Foundation (NCF) is organising a symposium on environmental financing in Nigeria.

The symposium, according to a release by NCF, will provide a forum to examine the problem of environment financing in Nigeria, assess the limitations of the current funding mechanism in Nigeria, assess the role of institutional sector in environmental financing in Nigeria, propose a comprehensive funding mechanism in the era of climate change, examine the benefits to be derived in being joint collaborators in funding environmental conservation and management, strategise towards securing funding support to address environmental challenges in Nigeria and propose as well as design a mechanism for the management of
carbon credit in Nigeria.

The one-day symposium scheduled for Abuja in the first week in September will feature four lead papers to be presented from various sectors of the economy, including the Federal Ministry of Finance, multilateral institutions, state governments and international funding agencies.

The release further noted that “there has been very minimal budgetary support for environmental and conservation management in Nigeria. Specific funding schemes such as the Nigeria Ecological Fund, earmarked to support environment and ecological problems need to  focus more in addressing Nigeria’s varied ecological challenges.

Big and Beautiful pageant kicks off

The third edition of the Big and Beauti    ful pageant has commenced with the sale of application forms to eligible ladies. Big and Beautiful pageant is an annual event which defines the true African woman who are big, fat and  beautiful. The focus, it is said, aims  at correcting the notion that only slim ladies contest for beauty pageants.

According to Comrade Austine Enehizena who is the Chief Executive Officer of Ge-swill Resource, the organisers of the pageant, it essentially helps to restore the true African pride which has been relegated, confused and polluted by western culture for more than a century.

“We want to make a clarion call to all African women to be proud of their God-given physiques, to guard their integrity, credibility and personality as true


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