Nigeria News

Nigeria News

Lagos-Badagry Road: Mixture of Pains And Shame

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Nigeria News takes a look at the bad state of Lagos-Badagry Road.

I knew the stake was high from the start because the notice came late from the Journalists International Forum For Migration, JIFORM.

We were to visit Seme border the next morning .

I love to sleep alone in my bed but it was the eve of my marriage anniversary.

All was love without sleep and coupling with the heavy downpour, the Monday night was a splendour.

The thought of leaving for Seme border filled my brain. We were to meet the Controller of the Nigerian Customs Service, Seme Command, Mohammed Garba Ubah by 10am.

I have vowed not to travel along Lagos-Badagry Road until it is fixed but the JIFORM assignment was necessary.

I left her in bed after a short prayer to defy the rain that would not stop until late in the evening. I last visited Badagry about eight years ago to pick a bag of rice at the French Village.

The road was not bad then, even though it was calling for repair. But my recent journey to Badagry was terrible because the international route had virtually cut into two.

Then, travelling from Iyana-Oba to Badagry would take about 35 minutes but on Tuesday it took me about two hours to navigate one of the most terrible roads in this country.

The commercial bus driver was a snail and with the bad road, he acted more like an earthworm, driving sluggishly to manoeuvre the gully and potholes along the Lagos-Badagry Road.

The rain refused to subside and the cold was becoming unbearable. Right in the bus, we were drenched except the driver who had his window well closed.

There were various police and customs checkpoints who also contributed to the delay. It was an adventure for me who was plying the road after so many years.

However, there are Nigerians and Benenoirs who travel this road daily. It is the only route to their business destinations.

During the administration of former Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, the sum of $10 billion was earmarked to build a 10-lane road and rail along Lagos-Badagry corridor.

The project was to be funded by the World Bank through Federal Government while the money came in tranches after legislation and approval by the Senate.

I could remember then that many residents lost their landed properties along the corridor and were compensated by the State government.

The former Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Land Bureau, Mr. Gbenga Ashafa who would later become a Senator of the Federal Republic played a prominent role in compensating residents whose houses were demolished to give way to the Lagos-Badagry Road that has is now an eyesore.

However, the immediate past administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode did nothing about the plight of the residents of Badagry and communities in the Local Government Area.

Lagos-Badagry Road was abandoned until lately that the present Lagos State government of Babajide Sanwo-Olu in collaboration with the Federal Government moved to the site to begin the reconstruction of this international road.

Work is ongoing now at the road, which when it is completed, according to Seme Customs Controller, Ubah will enhance business activities in the border communities.

Ubah explained that neglect of border communities by past governments contributed more to smuggling and insecurity in the country. To him, if the government can fix the road, banditry will be checked while Seme and other boundary towns will enjoy the social amenities of schools and hospitals.

“It will open up the place for business activities because investors will fly in to spend their monies”, he posited.

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