Nigeria News

Again Motorists Keep Vigils On Lagos-Ibadan Expressway

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Nigeria News takes a look at the incessant traffic gridlock on Lagos Ibadan Expressway between Monday and Wednesday.

It was a smooth journey from Ahmadu Bello Way, Victoria Island to Berger Bus Stop, Ojodu area of Lagos. I had joined a bus that would later take me to Magboro, one of the boundary towns between Lagos and Ogun State.

The crowd at Berger was scary but there were no vehicles to convey them to Mowe, Ibafo, Arepo and many other communities along the axis. A tanker laden with Premium Motor Spirit fell early Tuesday morning at Kara Bus Stop in Ibafo and could only the removed six hours later.

When it was eventually removed, the area was cordoned off so that incoming vehicle would not run into it. Before then, thousands of residents in the area had stormed the scene of the accident to scoop fuel.

The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) was able to manage the situation but not the backlog that later crippled transportation on the busiest road in West Africa.

The commuters were stranded and had to resort to trekking the long bridge to get to their various destinations.

At the popular Fagbems Petrol Station, some motorists decided to drive against traffic while others found solace in the rough alternative routes, outward Lagos.

Those who had stuck in the traffic on the long bridge could not find a way out. They slept in traffic, which was a standstill as at Wednesday morning.

Many residents along that axis abandoned their vehicles in the bush and jumped on the available commercial motorcycle to get home. They resumed to where they parked the cars early in the morning but observed that some of the vehicles had been vandalized.

Nigerians have been suffering on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway for years. Any accident on the road affects both the formal and informal economies. The travelling time to move goods and men are extended.

Coupling with the ongoing construction, Lagos-Ibadan Expressway is an example of hell on earth. The Julius Berger Construction Company that is handling the road has failed to create an alternative road for motorists to pass during this chaotic time.

There are virgin lands beside this big road, which the construction firm can quickly grade to ease traffic and reduce stress on the expressway.

There is a need for the Federal Government to compel this firm to create alternative roads, which is very possible so as to reduce the stress that Nigerians pass through daily on Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

This is what the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Raji Fashola must emphasise on. “This is not a country and we do not have a government,” a visibly angry commuter has said.

Construction firms do not care. The average life-expectancy of Nigeria is currently put at 52 years by the National Orientation Agency. It was 45 years, a few years ago but incessant traffic gridlock can further reduce the age if care is not taken.

The Federal Government says that the reconstruction of the expressway will be completed in 2021 but the motorists suffer every minute on this road.

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