The recent declaration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State to construct and rehabilitate up to 180 roads or more in the state deserves some kudos. This is an awesome development on the part of the governor.
Drivers and commuters on Lagos roads know of the untold stress and man-hours lost to traffic gridlock everyday.
For the governor who had since ascension to office hit the ground running with road construction, expansion and rehabilitation, this further decision to embark on additional road construction is a confirmation that he is living up to his campaign promises.
In any case, the truth of the matter is that Lagos before now has ignored one of the major sources of overwhelming traffic jams in the commercial nerve center of the country: That is lack of feeder road network within the state and between each local government.
It appears that with Ambode, we are getting in touch with reality. Lagos like any major city in Nigeria lacks enough tarred streets and feeder roads to complement our major highways or roads that either run into the town or city. You can imaging the chaos when every car is trying to ply the only available road network that runs through the city.!
This is the crux of the matter. Other access roads that were available apart from the major roads within the city are often pot holed, water clogged and sometimes made impassable by human impediments– people running in and out of the roads.
Construction and repairs of these roads to international standard and specification with correct width and depth and bitumen coating will help curb some of our road menace.
There is no gain saying that through the years with each successive administration within the country road construction always has always taken a huge chunk of our budget due to roads that are badly built.
But Ambode seems to be setting records straight and getting things done right. He is known for not commissioning roads till they meet the required standard and specification. That is a big departure from our sordid past with regards to road construction. I hope he continues this way throughout the period he stays in office.
The overhead bridge currently under going construction in Abule Egba area along Abeokuta expressway is sad reminder of the state of our road and the stress and strain suffered by commuters, drivers and those living in the surroundings.
The menace and damage that articulated vehicles and light trucks have done to adjacent streets and roads connecting the Lagos- Abeokuta highway due to poor construction are terrible.
The existing potholes have been widened to death traps for unsuspecting pedestrians, the pollution from exhaust of bad motors and respiratory disease inducing dusts spiraling into nearby shops and homes is commonplace.
The excuse is that the roads where not constructed to handle such traffics and trucks. The message is that roads need to be made to last and handle vehicles plying them regularly.
Some cynic may point out that Lagos is rich and can afford to embark on road construction and rehabilitation in a period of economic recession.
That is beside the point. The point is that Lagos is aware of the import of good and motor able road to its transportation system and economic health and the Nigeria economy by virtue of its position as the economic hub of the sub-region. This is a good investment that would yield the required dividend in no time.
Moreover, by insisting on the construction of roads with a life spam of 20 years minimum, much needed fund can be diverted to other social and economic areas for the residents of Lagos state. While commending Lagos State government, I recommend other states to emulate it at their own level.
Okunbor wrote in from Lagos