By Kunle Job.
Ogun State prides itself as the ‘Gateway State’, sitting next to Lagos, the Centre of Excellence. There is no denying the fact that both states have so much in common. They are in the industrial hub of the south-west and Nigeria. Their roads are major arteries into this major industrial hub.
While Lagos state played its part in maintenance of the border-town roads, Ogun state border-town roads are in a deplorable condition, unbecoming of the ‘Gateway State.
Despite the economic importance of these roads, their deplorable condition poses a nightmare to motorists and commuters who have to meander through the deadly potholes, grounding gorges and nerve breaking traffic snarl on regular bases.
Apart from the debilitating effect to the health and welfare of commuters, valuable man-hours are lost on these roads with slow movement and regular visits to automobile mechanics as a result of damages to shock absorbers, ball joints, drive shafts, upper and lower arms of vehicles. Broken-down vehicles are a common sight made worse by the rains. In better climes, one wonders how many law suits the state government would have to cope with
Alagbole-Ajuwon-Akute-Olambe road, Ikorodu- Mosinmi-Shagamu road, Agbado-Ope-Ilu road, Oke-Aro-Agbado road, Atan-Lusada-Agbara road, Ota-Ifo-Ewekoro-Abeokuta road and others are in a sorry state. While Ogun State woos investors to the state, one wonders on which roads it expects them to ply.
Ajayi Omotunde, who works in ilupeju-Oshodi area of Lagos, Laments how long it takes to ply the Iju-Ajuwon road to his residence in Akute. He said “although it is odd getting used to something bad, we are getting used to it, some of us have been plying this road for years when you close from work at oshodi or ikeja at about 5p.m for example you are likely to get home at about 8pm at the latest. This has been my lot for sometime now.
Some residents of Ajuwon/Akute area in Ifo Local Government, think there should be a synergy between Ogun and Lagos state governments in the maintenance of roads in the area because Lagos has a water pipeline fom Akute-Odo to Adiyan Waterworks that feeds Lagos.
Charles Edeke Zugetu, is surprised that the the Ogun state under the governorship of Senator Ibikunle Amosun did not curry the favour of Lagos to extend the hand of fellowship to a sister APC state. Akin Adegunle believes Ifo Local Government is to Ogun State, what Alimosho is to Lagos in terms of population and votes and the roads should not be neglected. Many think since the governor-elect, Prince Dapo Abiodun has promised to bring a general hospital to the area, and also plans to complete abandoned projects of the out-going Amosun administration, he can be counted on, based on his pedigree.
The same is true of Agbara-Lusada Axis. A number of public and private vehicles plying that road get broken down on the way thereby compounding the plights of motorists and commutates.
The activities of articulated vehicles which inundate the entire length of that road does not help matters.
According to motorists and residents of Agbara-Lusada area, some of the big firms including multi-national organisations as well as religious groups have approached the Ogun state government for the rehabilitation of the road for tax rebate. but were turned down for undisclosed reasons. A journey from Agbara to Lusada that will ordinarily take twenty minutes, may go for more than an hour.
The Ifo-Aro-Abeokuta road with an approximate stretch of about 30 kilometres is one of world’s example of a megalopolis .
With an estimated 18 million people residing in Lagos metropolis and its environs, and well over a million vehicles on the roads Criss-Crossing Lagos and Ogun State, debilitating traffic congestion is inevitable.
Transportation is pivotal to the economic development of every society. It is worrisome, that the Ogun State government in particular is not looking seriously at the parlous state of these very important feeder roads and major links to the economic capital of the country.
It is also intriguing that the very rich as well as policy makers find it comfortable to drive on these roads in their multi-million Naira State –of – the art cars, without qualms.
As a gentleman, a major player in the private sector, the border town residents hope and pray that the governor-elect will bring an end to their frustration at unfulfilled promises.