By Moses Adeniyi.
Motorists, commuters, and traders who ply the Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta expressway have heaved a sigh of relief following commencement of repairs on the deplorable road by the Ogun State Government to alleviate the suffering of the people.
Investigation by Nigerian NewsDirect revealed that the palliative measures began last week by the Ogun State Ministry of Works in a bid to alleviate the nightmare of motorists and other transporters plying the road.
The palliative measures are currently on going with the use of broken stone elements as gravel, to fill up deep and wide potholes dotting the route.
For instance rehabilitation of the lanes from Joju area in Sango has reached advanced stage which some transporters said has brought some relief to all who ply the road.
Motorists and transporters who spoke with our correspondent commended the effort by the State Government, stressing that more should be done to the current measures given that lots of havocs, damages and losses has been incurred as a result of the deterioration of the road for months.
Speaking to NewsDirect, a motorist who gave his name as Baba Wale Adio, noted that the repair has brought great relief to transporters.
He however, noted that without construction of new drainage, the relief will be short lived stating that with any rainfall the road will be flooded resulting in failed portions in no distant future.
He said: “The condition of the road now is better, but the problem is that there is no drainage. If rain falls now, those pot holes that have been filled will emerge again becoming so deep that any vehicle not strong enough will trip-off in it.”
He added however that the condition has become fair from the lane that links to Abeokuta from Sango/Joju, saying there are still a lot to be done from Abeokuta/Iyana Ilogbo down to Sango.
A motorist whose vehicle broke down due to the deplorable road, Mr. Kazeem Dauda, faulted the approach while demanding for a high way standard construction.
He said: “Look at the kind of stones they are using to fill the road, but it is still manageable. What we want is a standard express road.”
Commending the effort of the State Government, one tricyclist, Mr. Sailor Yusuf, said: “They started the filling on Wednesday and the effort has brought relief to people. It is now better compared to what obtained before when the pot holes made life difficult to motorists and commuters resulting in traffic jam. I think they are trying to fill this lane that links to Abeokuta before the other lane.”
Lamenting the negative effects of the deplorable state of the road on business, an entrepreneur into sales of ICT facilities, Prince Emma Okafor, said that the state of the road has resulted in a chain of problems which has affected patronage.
Speaking to our correspondent he said: “The bad state of the road has definitely been affecting our businesses. It has been affecting sales because when there is hold up, nobody will like to patronise us due to congestion. Also, when there is rainfall, everybody would have to leave this place. Nowhere is good around here.
“We have been having difficulties with dust. With the new measures, it will be better if they can finish the work on time because if there is rain now all these fillings will be washed away.
“You also have the problem of people selling on the road unlike in other places in Lagos. This has been affecting our businesses here,” he added.
Another business man at Joju axis of the road, Oluchukwu Ngbabor, said deterioration of the road has negatively impacted sales due to traffic congestion
He however added that within the few days of the new palliative measures, there has been an improvement in patronage.
Recall that the Ogun State Government had recently called on the Federal Government to grant the State a permit to embark on the reconstruction of three federal roads in deplorable states, which link the State to commercial centres in Lagos.
They are Lagos-Ota-Abeokuta high way, Ikorodu-Sagamu road and Epe-Ijebu Ode road.
Speaking on the deplorable state of the road which has been a nightmare to commuters and motorists, the Governor of the State, Prince Dapo Abiodun, in a recent statement by his Chief Press Secretary, Kunle Somorin, said: “The Lagos-Abeokuta road is a sorry sight when it rains, and our people need to commute to and fro Lagos every day, because we are to Lagos what New Jersey is to New York”
“People who commute through Iyana-Ilogbo will tell you of the nightmare they encounter every day because of potholes which cause endless gridlock. This is a road that has been under construction for a long time and still needs about N26 billion before completion.
“Only N1 billion was in this year’s Federal budget for that same road. So, as a responsible government which is closer to the people, we need to do something.”