Daily Trust

‘Lagos loses N11bn to traffic gridlock monthly’

- From Kayode Ogunwale, Chris Agabi & Nahimah Ajikanle-Nurudeen, Lagos

Economic experts say the business community in Lagos loses not less than N11 billion monthly to the daily traffic gridlock in the city.

Commuters and motorists describe the consistent traffic jam on Lagos roads as a setback for business growth.

Speaking with Daily Trust, an economist, Mr. Wole Sowunmi, said the daily gridlock makes businessme­n lose not less than N500 million daily. This translates to about N11 billion monthly.

According to him, research has shown that the more time people spend in traffic jams, the more money is lost in business transactio­ns that they would have made while they were in the traffic.

Sowunmi said many people do not reach their work places in time every morning because of the dreadful traffic condition, resulting in reduction in productive hours at work places and consequent­ly huge financial losses, thus impacting negatively on the state’s economy in particular and the country’s economy in general.

Usually, the heavy traffic situation in Lagos is felt in all parts of the city virtually throughout the day. From Shangisha, before the old toll gate down to Ojota through Ikorodu road to Western Avenue (Funso Williams Avenue) stretching to Lagos Island, the traffic is always heavy, especially in the morning when people are going to work and in the evening when returning home.

The same situation is experience­d by commuters and motorists on the Ikorodu to Lagos Island route, and also the Gbagada-Oshodi to Apapa route, as well as the Mile 2 to Badagry route. No area of Lagos is spared the nerve-wrecking traffic.

An estimated four hours are wasted in traffic daily by those working in Marina or on the Island. This has made transport fares to go up on many routes by 50 per cent or even 100 per cent in some cases.

Another economist, Mr. Kelvin Olalere said the traffic is seriously affecting business as many people are not able to meet up with appointmen­ts, losing money in the process.

He said: “There was a day I had an appointmen­t in Victoria Island on a contract that was supposed to fetch me millions of naira but I missed the chance because of heavy traffic. Being someone who has been living in Lagos for the past 27 years and knowing the traffic, I left my base at Alagbado two hours to the appointmen­t but I could not get there until three hours after the scheduled time”.

He also noted that the time he spent in traffic without getting the contract or money cannot be recouped, adding that the government should take the issue of light rail more serious.

This, he said, would help the road network expansion to enable people connect to their destinatio­ns, noting that concentrat­ion of traffic through one route and inadequate road networks were part of the reasons for the gridlock.

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