…We need commissioner for Happiness
By Dr. Ugoji Egbujo
A petrol truck fell at the foot of the Festac link bridge a month ago. The inferno consumed over 30 cars and damaged the bridge. The bridge is the main exit route out of festal town. The bridge serves millions of commuters coming from beyond Festac, traversing Lagos west axis , avoiding Mile 2 traffic.
After the inferno the exit lanes were closed. Then they were opened, then closed, and re- opened and finally closed. It took someone a week to determine the integrity of the burnt bridge and the dangers it posed to the public.
The exit lanes have remained closed. All vehicles now use the entry lanes. The hardship for residents has been excruciating. Lagos traffic management abandoned the chaos for a rather long while. But they have shown some sense of responsibility lately.
With one half of the bridge shut, everyone knew the new year would start ugly. Lagos state didn’t begin any repairs for three whole weeks. it seemed like eternity.
Lagos state has sent finally men/contractor and repairs have started. But no resident, no commuter is impressed. Those working at the bridge came with one generator, One electric drill and 4-5 work men. They have spent a week. But they have only been nibbling at the concrete structures. No one needs an expert to explain that more drills and hands are needed.
At the pace of that work, that section of the bridge would remain closed to traffic for 2 months.
Now one must ask. Why give this job to a contractor that doesn’t have the will or the equipment to do speedy repairs. The daily frustration commuters bear is exacerbated by the agonizing spectacle of the snail speed of the repair works.
Why would the state government not insist on the mobilization of an effective workforce to the bridge? That won’t increase the cost of repairs.
I know governor Ambode is sensitive and meticulous and efficient. I am convinced he doesn’t know that the contractor has deployed a wretched workforce to that bridge. In the end the contractor would be paid his full money.
Why then is he being allowed to drain the state of millions of man-hours? And to distribute anguish to millions?
Sometimes I really wish states actually had commissioners for happiness. I would have resumed in her office this morning with a military frown on my face.