As rainy season approaches, Lagos residents are becoming apprehensive of what the condition of roads will be considering many infrastructures are already suffering dilapidation of various degrees.
However, the fears are being allayed, as the agency saddled with the responsibility of road maintenance as assured of its readiness to ensure free vehicular movements during the rainy period and beyond.
Speaking on the efforts of his agency in ensuring the road networks in the metropolis are constantly in good condition, Special Adviser to Governor Akinwunmi Ambode on Public Works and Drainage, Engineer Temidayo Erinle, says the agency is doing its possible best to deliver on its mandate. Specifically, its continued maintenance of road infrastructure and drainage facilities. He said most of the challenges are more human than technical.
According to Erinle, volume of vehicular movement on Lagos roads are enormous with the infrastructure under severe pressures, and adding to the pressure is the attitudes of road users whose penchant for careless driving has made the situation to become seemingly insurmountable.
“The rate at which roads are deteriorating in Lagos is alarming, despite government’s efforts to make them motor-able. Although, the deterioration is not limited to the metropolis, with the suburbs have their fair share of the situation, but we are doing our best and will continue to ensure that we deliver on our mandate to make Lagos roads motorable.
But to get the best, he said government needs the cooperation of all road users and residents alike, stating that one of the major challenges confronting Lagos Public Works Corporation(LPWC) in the discharge of its duties is vandalisation of manholes along the highways; the destructive habit that usually causes blockade of drainage outlets. Apart from vandals activity, the related one is dumping of refuse inside the drains.
“The truth of the matter is that water and asphalt are not friendly. But the habit of blocking the drainage by which water flows to the road is capable of weakening the infrastructure.
“Besides, activities of roadside mechanics doesn’t help matters. It’s a common sight where diesel is spilled on the road. Guilty of similar habit is heavy-duty vehicles, who usually carry out repair of their vehicles on the surface of the road. Some, as a signal warning to motorists of breakdown vehicles, especially, in the night, usually make burn fire, ostensibly to avoid vehicles running to the stationary ones. The effect of fire and diesel, just like water over asphalt is enormous”, he said.
In the suburb, Erinle said his agency is currently carrying out road rehabilitation, particularly, along Badagry Expressway, Lekki Corridor, Epe, Ikorodu, among others.
“For instance, those that are conversant with Epe-Itoikin-Ketu axis in the recent time will appreciate what articulated vehicles have done to the road, despite the presence of Lagos Public Works Corporation, whose personnel have been working there for close to one month.
“But the irony is that the more public work personnel are trying to fix one spot, other spots keep getting spoilt which explains the road requires total reconstruction”, said Engineer Moroof Alani, who resides in Epe Township.
However, the Special Adviser said his agency will not relent in its efforts to continue to do the necessary maintenance pending the time total reconstruction commences, re-emphasising Governor Akinwunmi Ambode’s promise that Epe-Itoikin-Ikorodu road will be dualised, particularly that two major projects, relocation of Okobaba Sawmill and Mile12 Market are coming to the axis.
In the recent time, residents have been appealing to Governor Ambode over the menace of trucks and bad condition of Itoikin-Epe road State government to pay urgent attention to the road before it turns to a killer route.
This narrow road that was once being plied by private and few commercial vehicles owing to the semi-urban status of Epe Township, including the adjoining villages, has now become the only route ply by trucks, especially, those belonging to Dangote Cement, the Visionscape and the ones owned by private sand and laterite operators to their various sites between Epe and Lekki axis.
Others are tippers belong to the contractor working on Epe-Ijebu-Ode road construction Messrs Craneburg.
“Concentration of these heavy-duty vehicles has to do primarily with the development at the Lekki Free Trade Zone (LFTZ) on one hand, and construction activities in the Epe-Ibeju Lekki axis. Pressure is mounting on Itoikin-Epe route being the only alternative access to Ijebu-Ode where Dangote Cement trucks can get to their LFTZ destination, apart from servicing cement dealers along the corridor”, lamented a highly placed traditional ruler in Epe, who craved anonymity, because he didn’t want to appear as if he’s inviting the public against government.
The situation is not being helped owing to the dilapidated state of this road.
“Apart from being a narrow road, the pressure currently is enormous. This is a road that was constructed in the early 70’s without any conscious effort for its rehabilitation, especially now with the presence of huge vehicular movements.
“I think the best thing to do as urgently as possible is for Governor Akinwunmi Ambode to pay attention to its rehabilitation as the immediate remedy pending the time a full reconstruction he promised would materialise”, said Dr. Taiwo Adenuga, whose vehicle had a collision with one of the commercial vehicle recently.
Apart from the immediate palliative measures being carried out regularly by the Lagos public works, there is a need for the appropriate authorities to regulate speed limit of these trucks because of drivers who have little or no concern for other road users.
As testified by traffic officials, especially, the policemen, they accused these truck drivers of reckless driving.
“Even, if we flag them down, they wouldn’t stop, not to talk of any attempt to arrest them. Doing so will attract the wrath of ‘oga on top’”, lamented officials of Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), who spoke with the Nigerian Tribune last week.
“We may equally advice those that are not familiar with the road to avoid night journey, while those that are familiar with the route should exercise restrains whenever it rains”, counseled traffic officers, including security men working along the route. The worst affected portions which Erinle said efforts are being made to repair include Sala, Molajoye-Ketu and Mutaku-Ito-Ikin.
It would be recalled that Governor Ambode had, on several occasions reiterated his administration’s commitment to the reconstruction of Epe-Itoikin-Ikorodu road into an expressway.
He specifically promised to speed up the actualisation of the project as a result of the impending relocation of Okobaba Sawmill and Mile12 market to Agbowa and Imota respectively.
Credit: Tribune Online