Lagos-Ibadan Expressway

THE governments of Lagos and Ogun states, along with the Federal Government, must sit up in their law enforcement responsibility, particularly as it concerns the Lagos end of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

If the importance of this national road artery is often lost on the citizenry, it must not be so with those who are governing us. This is the single most important road corridor in the country, as it is the main trunk through which people arriving and leaving Lagos, our commercial capital, use. 

As Lagos is also the main feed-pipe through which we move our imports and exports, including petroleum products, no sensible government will allow anything to hinder traffic on that artery.

But unfortunately, regular users of that road always resign to fate when embarking on journeys because almost anything and anyone can choose to block the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway through acts of commission or omission. Long ago, commuters were at the mercy of religious groups which chose to punish the rest of humanity whenever they had their periodical retreats.

As the public has breathed a sigh of relief now that that nightmare has become a thing of the past, another nightmare has replaced it. During the just-concluded Sallah celebration, ram and cow sellers and buyers chose Kara Bridge area of the Lagos-Ibadan Express as the venue of their buying and selling. 

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Buyers also had to park their vehicles on the road and in so doing created hours of traffic gridlocks which stretched back to Alausa, five kilometres away inward Lagos and Olowotedo towards Ibadan.

This, of course, led to the astronomical rise in the cost of commercial transport, thus compounding the already existing high food inflation and poor economy.

The governments of Lagos and Ogun states and the Federal Government failed to take proactive steps to keep the corridor free for easy movement. The Lagos State Ministry of the Environment issued a statement warning that the ban on street trading was still in place, rather than proactively, and in conjunction with its Ogun State neighbour, implementing the law.

The same worrisome lack of effective governance has shown on several fronts, such as the failure to implement the Okada ban and the years of futile efforts to sanitise the Apapa gridlock.

We hope the Sallah woes of commuters on the Lagos-Ibadan Express as well as the Alaba Rago section of the Mile Two-Badagry Express will not be repeated. The relevant government agencies saddled with the duty of keeping our roads flowing with traffic should consult our annual holidays calendar and mobilise ahead of time to keep lawbreakers at bay.

Government should constructively engage with the various market leaders and hold them responsible for the misbehaviour of their members on our roads.

Vanguard News Nigeria

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