Lagos roads: Motorists’ nightmare | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Lagos roads: Motorists’ nightmare

Posted: Apr 16, 2015 at 8:00 pm   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Akinwunmi King / Snr Reporter, Lagos


Some roads in Lagos State are in such pitiable and deplorable conditions that the mere thought of plying them sends shivers down the spines of motorists.

Often times, the Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, has had cause to mention that the Federal Government is indebted to his government to the tune of N51 billion meant for road construction and the State Commissioner for Works and Infrastructure, Femi Hamzat, has also corroborated this claim.

Onajimi Street Shomolu

Onajimi Street Shomolu

According to Hamzat, “we submitted a bid of N59 billion based on all the roads that we have done and they came back and said N51 billion but till today the Federal Government has not paid a dime. And now, that is what is affecting the building of our own inner roads,” he said recently while featuring on television programme monitored in Lagos.

Though, the administration of Fashola has tried so much in putting Lagos roads in better shape but hardly will one travel on these roads and not encounter traffic gridlock.

Motorists, who spoke with our reporter, believed that traffic on major roads could be curtailed if inner roads are repaired and put in proper shape for motorists and other road users.

Many Lagosians are of the opinion that the state government in terms of road constructions and rehabilitation has concentrated more on the urban areas, thereby neglecting the hinterlands.

Reacting to this, Hamzat insisted that Fashola’s administration has delivered on its promise to provide good roads infrastructure, claiming that the government has done more than all the other 35 states in the construction of roads and bridges. He debunked allegations that the hinterlands have suffered serious neglect in the area of roads construction and rehabilitation.

He maintained that it is untrue that government is paying attention to only roads in the urban parts of Lagos, adding that the construction of roads is spread across all the local government councils in the state.

The commissioner, who noted that the choice of roads to be constructed was not selectively done, explained that roads construction involves a process that must be followed sequentially. He contended that even if the funds are available, it is not possible to do all the roads at the same time.

Our reporter, who went out to some parts of the state to speak with motorists on what they feel is responsible for incessant traffic on Lagos roads, gathered that neglect of inner roads, excessive vehicles on the roads, lack of alternative roads, indiscriminate parking of vehicles, misbehaviours on the part of commercial bus drivers are some of the issues responsible for everyday traffic in Lagos.

They particularly complained about the neglect of inner roads and explained that if the state government could take its attention to these roads, over-concentration of vehicles on major roads will be a thing of the past.

According to Mr. Anthony Akinwande, an electrical engineer, “I was born in Lagos and I’m over 60 years. I’ve been driving for more than 45 years; I can boastfully tell you that I know every part of Lagos including all the inner roads that we have in this state. Our inner roads are not in good shape and the government seems not to be doing anything.

“I think the problem of traffic is not limited to bad roads. If you live in Ikorodu, you will understand what I am saying. If you are coming out of Ikorodu in the morning, it is always hell. Before, people were complaining about the road and now that the road has been repaired, you still have the same problem.

“I believe that if the Lagos State government can provide alternative roads and repair inner roads, there will be less pressure on the major roads. No matter how much the government spends on putting the major roads in shape, if they don’t open up inner roads and create alternatives, we will continue to experience traffic,” Akinwande said.

Chairman, Lagos State House of Assembly Committee on Works and Infrastructure, Rotimi Olowo explained that the present administration has done excellently well in the area of road constructions and rehabilitations.

His words: “You will agree with me that this present government has scored above 90 per cent when you talk of roads construction and rehabilitation. Our major challenge is that we have been forced to take over the repair of federal roads in the state. If not that the federal government has abandoned its responsibilities in Lagos, the pressure wouldn’t have been this much on us.

“I may want to agree with you that some of the inner roads in the state are not in good shape but you will also agree with me that it won’t make any sense for you to leave the major roads and say you want to put your concentration on inner roads. If you don’t live in a particular area, it may be very difficult for you to say you want to make use of the inner roads in that area.

“As a government, we are trying our best to ensure that every road in Lagos is motorable and we will also appeal to our people, especially commercial bus drivers to always be rational whenever they are on theroads. A lot of roads in Lagos are in good shape but you still see traffic, it is because of the attitude of some motorists. They park indiscriminately, pick and drop passengers and so on,” Olowo said.

It is believed that if all the inner roads in the state are put in proper shape, there would be less pressure on the major ones and traffic will flow easily. Lagosians are expectant and are hoping that the next administration that will take over from Fashola will do more in the area of roads repairs.

Many parts of Lagos State are still begging for government’s attention. Major roads in Alimosho, some in Coker-Aguda area of Surulere, few others in Agbado-Okeodo, Epe, to mention but a few, are all in critical condition.