Stakeholders in the education and business sectors in Lagos have called on government to expedite action on the rehabilitation of the Lagos-Badagry expressway to alleviate the plight of commuters.
They told journalists that the highway, along which several institutions and businesses were located, had turned into an unpleasant ordeal for road users, especially in the rainy season.
The Principal of the Federal Government College, Ijanikin, O.A.U Essien, expressed displeasure about the state of the road, which she said posed serious hazards to both workers and students of the school.
She said that employees and students of the school were on edge daily because of the deplorable state of the road which is forcing motorists to drive against traffic.
According to her, a member of staff was knocked down recently by a vehicle on the same road.
“These motorists often scramble with pedestrians for a more accessible route because of the state of disrepair of the highway, leaving pedestrians with nowhere to walk.
“Some days, students and even teachers arrive late to school due to the bad roads; I call on the authorities to expedite action on this road,” she said
A former Chairman of the Ijanikin Market Shoe, Bag and Textile Traders Association, Titus Agha, described the road as a “death trap’’ to users.
He said that the dilapidated road and resultant accidents claimed the lives of some traders.
He said many traders had resorted to commercial motorcycles in order to avoid the traffic congestion which had become a “notorious feature” of the Lagos-Badagry expressway.
“Transport fare from Badagry to this Vesper market, which used to be N200, has now risen to as much as N400 due to dilapidation of the road,.
“There are several lucrative businesses situated along this road, which is a major business route, but its bad state has negatively affected our businesses.
“Our customers from the Island find it difficult to ply this road which is even a major access point to neighbouring countries like Benin Republic; we cannot afford to keep mute while we suffer.
“I urge the relevant authorities to come to our aid and make this major business route accessible for all.”
Also, a trader at the Aspanda Trade fair complex, Joshua Ibitola, said that the condition of the road had worsened because of rainfall and the resultant flooding.
He said: “I sell here at Trade fair and our closing time is 5.00p.m., but whenever it rains, I am forced to close by 2.00p.m., just to avoid spending the night on the road.
“The condition of this road is very unbearable to us and we sincerely urge government to come to our aid.”
Similarly, Samuel Ojelade, a student at the Adeniran Ogunsanya College of Education, also situated along the Lagos-Badagry expressway, described the state of the road as appalling.
According to Ojelade, he spends a minimum of two hours on the road to school from his residence at Shibiri due to pot holes and pays about N1,500 daily on transportation.
“Whenever I wake up and think of going to school on this road, I get emergency headache.
“I appeal to the authorities to do their best to rehabilitate this road,” he said.
For her part, Thelma Adebisi, a student of the Lagos State University, Ojo, said the road was her worst nightmare.
Adebisi, who resides at Alakija, said that she sustained bruises on her legs and elbows, due to repeated falls from commercial motorcycles, which had become her only workable source of transportation to school.
According to her, boarding commercial buses will only make her late for lectures, since the buses are forced to go at very slow pace due to the craters on the road.
She urged the authorities to expedite work on the road to ease the burden borne by students.
Ojo Military Cantonment, Postgraduate College of Medicine, Federal Road Safety Corps, as well as several schools and businesses are also located along the Lagos-Badagry expressway.