At last, the administration of the new Governor of Lagos State, Mr. Babatunde Sanwo-Olu, has roused itself into action after months of anguish that residents have had to bear while commuting on roads across the city-state.
On Sunday, October 13, 2019, the Governor announced a “state of emergency” on roads at a ceremony in Lagos House, Marina. The state government also signed memorandums of understanding with renowned construction companies, such as Julius Berger, CCECC, Arab Contractors, Metropolitan Construction, Slavabogu Construction, Rajaf Foundation and RCF Nigeria Limited, whose reconstruction efforts will be complemented by the ongoing palliative works being carried out by the Lagos State Public Works Corporation, LSPWC.
Some of the critical main arteries that will receive urgent attention include the Ojota section of Ikorodu Road where a bad patch caused a truck to tip over recently, Motorways-Kudirat Abiola Way, Babs Animasaun Road (Surulere), Apongbon Highway in Lagos Island and Agric/Isawo and Ijede Roads in Ikorodu. In the Lekki Peninsula it will also involve Abraham Adesanya-Eleko and Lekki Epe Expressway, among others.
Sanwo-Olu assured residents that the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, will be on duty “round the clock” to ensure free flow of traffic and reduce the pain the massive public works are liable to cause.
This is the long-expected cheering news. Successive administrations in Lagos State have always been known for their quick response to major outcries such as the scandalous situation of the roads. We hope that the Sanwo-Olu government will seize this opportunity to reassure the residents that, with its “For A Greater Lagos” mantra, it will not depart from the progressive path that made Lagos State a shining example for the rest of the states and Abuja.
The question that should occupy the minds of the LASG is: Why did roads throughout the state suddenly deteriorate after just one rainy season? The answer is not far-fetched. Perhaps because of political distractions, the regime of former Governor Akinwunmi Ambode might not have been on top of its game in the area of monitoring of contractors to ascertain the quality of work they were doing.
A big case in point was the Oshodi-Abule Egba Expressway which was broken down and reconstructed with a special corridor for the Bus Rapid Transport, BRT, services. This road started developing a rash of potholes barely three months after completion. The four month-old Sanwo-Olu regime has already patched sections of the road twice yet the collapse continues.
We call on Governor Sanwo-Olu and the relevant committees of the Lagos State House of Assembly to conduct routine inspections of public works to ensure quality control. It will also keep the personnel of LASTMA on their duty posts and making life easier rather than abandoning commuters to their fate.
The emergency on Lagos roads is welcome. We shall monitor it.