Apapa-Oshodi Expressway worst hit
Motorists, commuters bow for gullies, craters on highway
By Kingsley Adegboye
THE deplorable state of Nigerian roads can best be described as a national shame and embarrassment. This is because most of the roads across the nation, whether Trunk A roads which are federal, or Trunk B which are state roads or Trunk C roads which are local government roads, are in decadent state, and there is hardly any part of the country that can boast of decent motorable roads.
This terrible state of the country’s roads has resulted to untimely deaths of innocent Nigerians and foreigners through avoidable accidents. The same poor state of roads has resulted in poor productivity of workers as immeasurable man-hours are lost in traffic on daily basis.
In a country where there is no functional railway system, roads are the only means of movement for people and goods. Unfortunately, Nigerian roads are in very deplorable conditions going by complaints across the nation.
Highways such as Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway, Ibadan-Akure Road; Shagamu-Ore, Onitsha-Enugu-Port Harcourt Road, Abuja-Lokoja Road and several others have become a nightmare to motorists who ply them on daily basis. And there is hardly any day an accident or accidents are not recorded as a result of this pitiable condition of Nigerian roads.
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.