Commuters, motorists and communities along the Kara, Long Bridge, OPIC to the secretariat side between Lagos and Ogun states on the Lagos-Ibadan expressway have lamented the persistent traffic gridlock on the road. That is following the barricading and closure of different sections of the road by Construction giant, Julius Berger.
The Lagos-Ibadan expressway, which is one of the signature projects of President Muhammadu Buhari’s administration has been under construction since 2017 is expected to be delivered by December this year.
Throughout last week, traffic on the road has been terrible, following the expansion of the road between Kara and Long bridge by the construction company.
It came to a climax on Friday night, when some commuters returning from the Lagos Island, spent over six hours before getting home. Sunday Telegraph also learnt that travellers from the Eastern and Northern parts of the country, who had made their journeys in good time, spent about 4 to 6 hours between Mowe, Ibafo and the Berger Bus-stop in Lagos.
Sunday Telegraph gathered that the traffic situation and the attendant criminal activities of hoodlums and herdsmen on the road forced the DPO of Werewa Police Station in Ogun State to summon an emergency meeting of residents around the area yesterday by 11.30 pm.
At the meeting, many residents and road users, complained bitterly about the actions of Julius Berger and the hardship imposed on them by the activities of the construction company. They complained that apart from the man-hours lost in the traffic, some of them have been robbed, attacked by hoodlums in the mornings and late nights.
A police team had at about 12am on Friday at the Warewa Bus stop told a female journalist not to wait at the bus stop for commercial motorcycles to avoid being robbed or kidnapped. “ In fact, the police team had to drop me at the gate of my estate in their vehicle to keep me safe”, she said.
Many others, who were heading towards the Redeemed Camp and surrounding environments got home around 2am, according to findings.
Meanwhile, the Federal Government yesterday apologised for the hardship being faced by road users due to construction works on the Berger-Opic axis of Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, and announced plans to improve on traffic management.
The Acting Federal Controller of Works in Lagos State, Mrs Forosola Oloyede, conveyed this in a statement made available to the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos.
According to her, the government feels the pains of the people, especially residents of Lagos and Ogun states, who are at the receiving end of the inconveniences due to the gridlock.
Motorists plying the axis have continued to spend long hours in gridlock daily, a situation with the hardship getting worse in the last three days.
Oloyede said the Federal Government through the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing (FMWH) was not oblivious of the current traffic gridlock due to the ongoing reconstruction works.
She promised that the government would make necessary improvements in the traffic management system on the road in order to alleviate the sufferings of the road users.
“To this end, the Federal Ministry of Works has concluded plans with the contractor to suspend the works for today Saturday 27th August, 2022 in order to plan and make provisions for required improvements in traffic management on the road,” she said.
She said that the highway under construction bears daily heavy vehicular volume and the contractor managed the traffic through dedicated diversions while carrying on construction works.