The Punch

Lagos and road constructi­on management

- • Yinka Johnson, Maryland, Ikeja, Lagos, 0802052006­4

Iwant to start this open letter to Governor Babajide Sanwo-olu of Lagos State by thanking him for numerous road work being done in the state especially in mostly neglected areas before now.

As much as the intention of the governor is meant to bring relief to commuters and Lagosians, the manner in which this administra­tion has gone about it has done otherwise.

First, working simultaneo­usly on adjacent roads is one factor that has created more sorrow for commuters. For example, the end of Odo Iya-alaro bridge of Maryland is under repair, a detour road of Gbagada/anthony that could have been an alternativ­e route is also being repaired at the same time. Excuse may be given that it is the Federal Government that is undertakin­g this particular repair but then if communicat­ion and proper synergy between the national and sub-national government had been put in place one of these two repairs could have been completed before the other is embarked upon.

Second, there is little or no proper oversight supervisio­n by the works ministry of the state government. The resultant effect is that the contractor­s handling these repairs take forever to complete the roads leading to unnecessar­y lengthened suffering by commuters.

As much we are not privy to terms of engagement between the works ministry and the contractor­s, one would have thought that a contract for a major road like Ikorodu (arguably the busiest highway in the state) will have included in it overnight working. There will be less distractio­ns for the workmen and the pace of work will be faster reducing the time allocated for repairs.

The argument against this point will be that the contractua­l cost will go up. But then, has this cost been checked against the economic cost of lost time by commuters locked down in traffic for hours daily over several weeks if not months. Time they say is money. We should not forget the damage on the health of commuters.

One other thing that comes to the fore is that sometimes, contractor­s leave the road unattended for days or weeks. In the first instance, the road will be blocked/diverted and work won’t commence until maybe a week or two after closure. Why close the road when work is not commencing immediatel­y after closure/diversion.

Second, whilst work is ongoing, you will just notice that the constructi­on seems abandoned because you can’t see any workmen on site or any work being done.

For close to two weeks, the sand stone and asphalt poured on the stretch after Odo Iya-alaro bridge of Maryland have been left unattended whilst commuters continue to experience serious suffering.

Proper and adequate traffic management by LASTMA and other issues that need not mentioned will also come into this space. Truth be told, LASTMA has made a lot of difference in the state’s traffic management but a lot more need to be done in this particular area of their duty.

Officers thrown to manage traffic in constructi­on locations get overwhelme­d by the sheer weight of the resultant challenges created by the contractor and sometimes disappear from the scene before they slump on the road.

I will therefore want to plead with the state government that a more pliable clause with human face is factored into road repair contracts henceforth.

One more time, thank you Mr Governor for the good work you are doing but you would not want the IGR of the state to be affected negatively because of road constructi­on and its implicatio­n on the commuters’ economy and Lagosians do not want to start addressing health challenges when the roads are completed.

Thanks and God bless you immensely sir for considerin­g these issues.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Nigeria