• Thursday, May 23, 2024
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Fixing the Apapa-Oshodi Road Scare


Insensitivity and carelessness are bigger problems when put on by any government that desires any respect from the people it claims to govern. What kind of democracy do we practice in Nigeria where it seems the government is no more interested in being seen as government of the people, by the people and for the people?

Or how does one explain this recurring phenomenon of remedy only after tragedy? No sign to show anyone that there is any planning within the system that typifies proactively, issues that could affect citizens in the short and long term. Public facilities deteriorate unabated right under the nose of different levels of government without any action taken until havoc, stress and at times death are inflicted on the citizens.

The Oshodi-Apapa Expressway did not get bad yesterday or last week or last month not even last year as the president’s statement last week would make one think. It has been bad from years back and getting worse on a daily basis with nobody doing anything. Government is supposed to identify itself with actions that translate to welfare for the citizens it governs. Imagine the number of accidents that have occurred on that stretch of road, the man hours wasted by busy executives, traders, workers etc. The tension on this road thickens once it rains in Lagos .

Read Also: Presidential task team claims no gridlock in Apapa despite evidence to the contrary

How can we suffer all forms of afflictions on this road and hear that the Ministry of Works could not see critical infrastructure to spend money on and had to return unspent budgeted monies to government treasury?
A greater evil is the promise and fail syndrome which Nigerians have been so used to that statements like that of President Yar’ Adua on fixing the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway does not attract their fancy or appreciation. Many inspections have been conducted only to end up on paper without action. Lagos is not alone. Several roads across the country are in deplorable state.

Amongst others are the Enugu-Umuahia-Aba-Port Harcourt road, the Ajaokuta-Itakpe road, Idah-Nsukka road, Onitsha-Awka-Enugu road, the Ajase Epo-Kabba road and the Benin-Ore Expressway. These roads are so strategic yet neglected because our government is not interested in industrialization, trading or commerce.

Still another evil is that of poor work quality which characterizes most contracted projects executed in Nigeria . Does fixing the road mean patching of the danger spots only? If proper job is not done now, then within the next few months, we would be back to same deplorable state and one would not know when another presidential promise may come the way of the same road. Another area of attention is the clearing and maintenance of the gutters and culverts along this all important intra-city and inter-city link roads to help preserve the road.

We believe government should be more sensitive than what we see in Nigeria– sensitive to know what issues endanger the very existence of its citizens. Fixing the road should be about upgrading the road and not patching. We are also expecting a fast-paced work as a fulfillment of the president’s promise. Other bad roads across the country should also be given quick attention to reduce the carnage we see on these roads. It is not out of place for a government to take steps to prevent calamities before they happen and this, we believe, is the real essence of governance.