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Group Wants FG To Return Toll Gates To Lagos-Ibadan Expressway

By Niyi Adeyi

BALTIMORE, MD (AFRICAN EXAMINER) – The Federal Government (FG) has been tasked to rearrange its priorities and consider bringing back the toll gates to the Lagos-Ibadan expressway, so as to recover and refund partners who make money available during the ongoing reconstruction of the highway.

Speaking against the background of the statement made Wednesday and credited to FG that further works have been stalled on the road, due to financial constraint, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) stressed the governmnet should “rearrange its priorities or enter into an agreement with local or foreign partners who have the required funds”, insisting that work must resume on the popular and ever busy expressway.

MURIC which described FG’s lamentation as alarming and disappointing, wondered if it was aware of the strategic importance of the road, adding that it was the only road plied by millions of Nigerians going in and out of Lagos, as well as the commercial hub of the nation, contending that any disconnect between Lagos and the rest of Nigeria “tantamounts to economic strangulation of the whole country”.

“How do we transport goods to and fro Apapa Port if the only access road is rendered unmotorable? Trailers who ferry these goods rely solely on Lagos-Ibadan expressway. Unfortunately the road is in such a dilapidated state that even the trailers fall by the roadside on a daily basis. Yet there is no alternative since there is no reliable rail system yet”, the group regretted in a statement issued Thursday by its Director, Professor Ishaq Akintola.

It stated: “The two companies (Julius Berger and the Chinese Construction Company) which started the work have done very well so far. All the parts of the road which they have refurbished are now very smooth and wide. But the areas yet to be covered are full of bumps and they are now getting worse by the day, particularly since the companies stopped working on them a few months ago.

“The bumps are an eyesore and driving there is hazardous. Vehicles break down frequently on the rough surfaces while accidents are also common there as drivers either run into ditches or collide with those behind them as they attempt to avoid the bad portions of the road.

“The bad spots have also been causing long vehicular queues thus turning a journey that should not last longer than one hour to one that lasts five or six hours. This is not good enough for our economy because Nigerians can do a lot for their country during those hours of waste and pain.

“Worse still, Nigeria has lost so many of its crème de la crème to this road in the last seven years that only those who want to be counting dead bodies in their hundreds and on a daily basis will deprive Lagos-Ibadan expressway the necessary fund for refurbishing at this point in time. We cannot afford the retention of a culture of waste…”

MURIC indicated that it was not oblivious of the fact that past regimes were responsible for the negligence; still accused the immediate past regime of Dr. Goodluck Jonathan of being responsible for the failure to pay the construction companies, although, it declared that today, the buck stops at President Muhammadu Buhari’s table, as it noted Government is a continuum.


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