The last few days have seen a significant reduction in the usual traffic congestion on Eko Bridge, Lagos, as motorists have been compelled by an unusual petrol price hike to rethink their travel plans.
BusinessDay gathered that fuel consumption in Lagos has also dropped by as high as 30 percent as many residents of the sprawling city now find it hard to relate with the over 200 percent increase in the pump price of petrol from N185.00 to N500.00 per litre.
Rather than spending N10,000 to N20,000 to buy fuel only to ‘waste’ the same on one trip to offices, business premises or to meet business appointments, some motorists have rather decided to transact their businesses from home.
In the same vein, some organisations have adopted hybrid work schedules in which case staff work in the office for some days and work from home for the remaining working days of the week, meaning that vehicles used by these staff are kept off the roads the days they operate from home.
Traffic on Eko Bridge had been legendary in the last 15 months when the bridge was closed to traffic by the Federal Government following a fire incident on the adjoining Apongbon Bridge that needed to be repaired.
The gridlock was such that motorists would start ‘crawling’ from National Stadium for those going to the Island through Ikorodu Road while those going through places like Surulere would enter the gridlock from Costain, all converging at the foot of the high-bridge and emptying into Ijora Causeway.
The repair work on the bridge, which started in March 2022, was scheduled to be completed in December 2022, but in November of that same year, a section of the Eko Bridge also got burnt, leading to the extension of the completion of work on Apongbon to May 2023 by Babatunde Fashola, the former minister of works and housing.
The May 2023 date could not also be realised for reasons the federal government did not communicate to either the motorists or the media.
However, Olukorede Kesha, the new controller of works in Lagos, told BusinessDay in a telephone interview that the end of June 2023 has been scheduled for the reopening of the bridge. “Reopening the bridge on May 31 will not be possible; we are still working . We are now considering the end of June to reopen the bridge,” the controller said.
She raised some hope, though, saying, “all things being equal, the outbound carriageway of the bridge will be opened to traffic by the middle of June; that is the lane that will take you from Apongbon to Alaka Bridge. That will be reopened,” the controller stressed.