Where’s Mr. Sanwoolu? Lagos roads been calling!

By Xavier Kanu

Should there be anything so obvious and worth pointing out currently happening or affecting Lagos State other than the deplorable state of roads?

I have been moving around the state for a while now and I can categorically state as a matter of fact that the state of the roads are much alike: untarred, large crater sized potholes and poor drainage systems.

It seems to be happening so fast, more like an epidemic that spreads so fast around the state causing dreaded traffic gridlocks around popular roads and axis. I won’t be saying anything other than what many of us are already familiar with.

The Lagos economy accounts for over 65 percent of Nigeria’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) in nominal terms. Most of the goods imported into Africa’s largest economy arrive Lagos through the city’s two major ports, before making their way round the country. Businesses have suffered, transport fares have soared and commodities prices have been hiked, all because of the state of these roads.

If Mr. Sanwoolu would actually pick his calls, I won’t mind taking him around areas like Mushin where cars, trucks and trailers flip on a daily due to the very large craters found on the roads around there, I witnessed one in front of NNPC gas station this week.

What about Yaba and her flood issues due to blocked drainages? I pause to wonder if there is actually an elected custodian in that area. I have come to respect Mr Sanwoolu as a fine, articulate and alluring figure who I believe has a master plan for the state. But I’ll really like him to pick the calls and maybe go on a road tour, or maybe I’d invite him to Bariga where vehicles move in a propagated sinodial wave way. Here, cars bounce, passengers cuss, tempers flare and cars run into themselves during rush hour. Bumpers come off, tyres fall apart and the commercial bus drivers disappear into nowhere after taking off your side mirror.

Lagos Island roads are not spared, I’d probably suggest Mr. Sanwoolu take a ride from CMS to Constain. For a wannabe mega-city, good roads ought to have be first basic infrastructure in place. The State government doesn’t really supervise the construction of these roads or ensure that the right texture of materials are used for road construction. Some State officials receive kickbacks from contractors to deliver poor quality roads. Or what about maintenance? I don’t think this is actually a routine the state government really enjoyed doing.

I hate it when it rains in Lagos, when the rains come around, it erodes all the poor quality materials that have been used to construct roads in Lagos during the dry season. This further compound the hardships motorists and commuters face on these roads.

I’m sorry Mr. Sanwoolu, I know you must be so worn out with these many weary journeys. But I’ll still like us to move through Apapa-Oshodi, after Cele; from the Mile 2 end, I’d probably advise your chauffeur not take his hands off the wheel. Cars have tumbled here off huge potholes. Accidents are frequent and articulated trucks have let down their containers on smaller vehicles to fatal effect.

The Economic Intelligence Unit (EIU) recently ranked Lagos State as the second worst city to live in the world. With its decrepit infrastructure, there were few complaints from residents of this city of over 20 million people, in the wake of the report.

If Lagos wants to become a mega-city, it has to fix its mega pothole problems. A city is only as liveable as its decent infrastructure. And I strongly opine that Lagos isn’t there yet.

There is a lot to be done, but this starts when the Governor picks the roads call!

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