By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Motorists and commuters plying the Jakande Gate-Iyana Ejigbo-Ikotun route will readily tell whoever cares to listen that they know what hell on earth means. According to them, it is the same as the traffic nightmare they experience everyday either going to or coming back from Cele Express or Oshodi via Isolo.
This is no thanks to the poor state of the long stretch of road linking Ikotun, Iyana-Iba, Idimu, Egbeda and Ipaja-Ayobo among others, all in the old Alimosho axis. The road has for years remained motorists and commuters nightmare despite several interventions by the immediate past administration of Mr. Kehinde Bamigbetan to make it passable.
Recently, it was gathered that the construction company handling the initial re-construction of the deplorable road stopped further work due to lack of fund. Consequently, it takes several hours to ply a route that should ordinarily take less than 10 minutes because of the deplorable condition of the road, especially at the Iyana Ejigbo intersection that has defied all remedial measures in the past.
According to a Mr Gbenga Akanbi, a resident, the situation became worse when the contractor carrying out remedial work on the road stopped work. “Right now you cannot find any of the workers on site. The work has been abandoned. The road has damaged so many vehicles due to its bad state.
“The turn of events got worse when the Lagos State Government awarded contracts for the rehabilitation of the road. The contractors brought their heavy equipment and opened up the earth since last year under the pretext of digging drainage to channel water out of the intersection area.
“Driving through the Ejigbo intersection even before the rehabilitation was just like passing through hell,” he submitted.
Reconstruction of the Iyana-Ejigbo road was awarded by the state government following several complaints by the management of the Ejigbo LCDA, residents as well as other road users over perennial flooding of the area whenever it rained, which often resulted into total traffic logjam.
The good news presently is that a solution may be in sight with the recent intensification of the reconstruction of the road, complete with a drainage system, from Iyana-Ejigbo to Ejigbo-Ikotun link bridge. The partial rehabilitation of the dilapidated Iyana Ejigbo Road initiated by management of Ejigbo LCDA is coming barely a month after the appointment and swearing in of 57 Executive Secretaries who are to oversee administration of the 20 local governments and 57 LCDAs across the state.
While the road is being handled by the Lagos State Public Works Corporation, LSPWC, the drainage is being handled by the state Ministry of the Environment.
Speaking specifically on the Iyana Ejigbo Road, Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Dr. Femi Hamzat at a forum then, explained that the State Public Works Corporation, LSPWC, had done several palliative works on the road. “The fact is that the contract on the road is to undertake the drainage. The road is yet to be contracted out for reconstruction. Firstly, there is need to complete the drainage channels being undertaken to ensure that any road effort thereafter will not be a waste. The PWC will continue to do palliatives on this road as well as all roads across the state pending proper reconstruction,” he informed.
On Isheri-Oshun-Jakande Estate Road, also in the axis, he said there was a need to understand that road projects are done in phases. “The first phase had been the two (one kilometre) long bridges. They had been constructed on a 1,022 piles averaging 24 metres each in depth. The completion has led to the award of the road component. This is progressing rapidly,” he said.
Meantime, speaking on his mission in the area, the newly appointed Executive Secretary of Ejigbo LCDA, Jaiye Alabi, assured residents that his aim is to work for the overall interest of the entire community.