BY OLASUNKANMI AKONI
…Hold FG responsible, says Lagos
RESPITE seems not to be in sight for road users and residents along Lagos-Badagry Expressway, no thanks to the deplorable state of the road which has become a perpetual nightmare.
Motorists and concerned citizens have always stressed the need for immediate intervention on the road, without any hope in sight.
What is even more worrisome is the declaration by the state government which ruled out possibility of any palliative on the road since there is an unending rehabilitation and expansion project being undertaken in collaboration with World Bank. This involves a 10 lane carriageway that will incorporate Light Rail Transport, LRT, on the median and also the Bus Rapid Transit, BRT, system.
Despite the fact that the road is an international route that links Nigeria with other West African countries starting with Benin Republic, it has been abandoned by concerned authorities.
Heavy duty vehicles
Most deplorable is the section from the International Trade Fair Complex all the way to Volkswagen area, extending, to Iyana-Iba.
Several man-hours are wasted on the road, and more often, heavy duty vehicles break down, spilling their contents and aggravating traffic situation in the process.
In other cases, car owners and buses usually get stuck in the mud while trying to use the set-back of the road as escape route.
Miscreants also lurk around to ‘assist’ any unfortunate motorist whose vehicle got stuck or developed any mechanical fault, for astronomical fees. In the night, some of them transform into robbers, dispossessing motorists of valuables like cash and mobile phones at gun point.
Men of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, and Police Traffic wardens, apparently overwhelmed by enormity of the chaotic situation, find respite in near by kiosks or any available hideout to cool off.
Lagos State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr. Obafemi Hamzat, in his recent comment during the 2013 ministerial briefing on the activities of his ministry as well as marking the sixth year of Governor Babatunde Fashola’s administration, accused the Federal Government of owing the state government N51 billion spent over the years for the rehabilitation of federal roads.
When his attention was called to the plights of motorists and residents on Lagos-Badagry Expressway, Hamzat, emphatically, ruled out any form of assistance from the state government, saying, there was no budget for such in the fiscal allocation.