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Lagos State road chaos


Sections of NNPC junction, Mushin-Ikotun road, have failed. Photo credit: WOLE OYEBADE

An op-ed in the Guardian has branded the roads in Lagos as 'deplorable', opining that the smaller roads, off Ikorodu Road, Funso Williams Avenue and parts of Ikoyi, Lekki and Victoria Island are a true reflection of the state of roads in Lagos.


The editors seem to believe that "significant strides in road infrastructural development" have lost momentum, citing the increased bad experiences by regular road users.


State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has appealed for patience, stating that the roads will receive attention after the rainy season. There are some, however, who feel that this is a little too late.


In a state such as Lagos – an economic, business and travel hub – development must be treated with diligence and care. Long considered the commercial capital of Nigeria, lack of infrastructure in Lagos can and will negatively impact on the development of the entire country. As one of the largest ports in Africa, Lagos is a conduit for many of the goods that enter Nigeria, in addition to being a key hub for business with other parts of Africa.


The op-ed is critical of the efforts by the governor to control traffic within Lagos, claiming that the problems in Lagos are not due to overloaded roads or "the populace who are daily struggling to eke out a living for themselves and their families, under very difficult road conditions. With dilapidated and non-functional roads, vehicle breakdowns have been a common occurrence ... The government usually requires vehicle owners to ensure that their vehicles are road-worthy whereas most of the roads in Lagos are not vehicle-worthy."


Governor Sanwo-Olu has been in his position for just on six months and many of his current road challenges relate to poor quality construction under previous administrations. One of the fundamental objectives of any ongoing or planned road repairs during his tenure must be backed up by significant quality control and quality build standards and expectations.


Of course, Lagos is not the only state which must focus on infrastructure development. Failure to develop other states "deprives [them of] the needed attention in basic infrastructural development."


Ultimately, this will put more pressure on infrastructure in areas such as Lagos and Abuja as more people migrate to economic centres in an effort to escape the lack of opportunities in their own home states.


Did you know that we are hosting a West African Road Infrastructure and Investment Forum in Lagos in 2020 to discuss these and other challenges in the road sector in this region? Click here for more information