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Nightmarish potholes of Lagos roads



Because of its peculiar nature, as well as its former status as former Nigerian capital, Lagos State plays host to a wide range of roads.

The roads, which criss-cross the entire state, include two-lane highways, dual carriageways, expressways and others.

A broad classification of the Nigerian road system shows that they are broken into four. While Trunk ‘A’ roads are under the Federal Government, which develops and maintains them, Trunk ‘F’ roads are those formerly under state ownership, but taken over by the Federal Government, with the intent of upgrading them to federal highway standards. Trunk ‘B’ roads are those owned and managed by states, and Trunk ‘C’ roads are those under local councils’ ownership and management.

This presupposes that every tier of government has the responsibility for planning, constructing and maintaining the network of roads under its purview or jurisdiction.

However, like their counterparts in other parts of the country, most of these Lagos roads have the same charateristics – they are not well maintained or well managed. That perhaps explains why there are potholes of all varying sizes on them, whether they are owned or inherited by the Federal Government or the states and local councils.

It would have been expected that highways and strategic roads connecting two or more cities, ports, airports and other places, or routes for long-distance and freight traffic are pampered, because of the volume of vehicular traffic that pass through them. That has clearly not been the case.

Instead, minor defects on these roads are left unattended to for lengthy periods. Consequently, these minor potholes become craters in a matter of weeks, and cause immense harm to speeding motorists on these roads that are either never lit, or are poorly lit.

Expectedly, this contributes to the pains that the average motorist in the state has to contend with.

Put differently, while traffic snarl scares motorists, and its attendant slow movement abhorrent, ditches, potholes and craters also join forces to haunt the unsuspecting motorists. In some cases, when they do not only lead to burst tyres, they damage other car parts and even cause accidents.

A drive around Lagos indicates that what started as small potholes in some areas, have become craters in places like Cele Bus Stop inbound Mile 2, (exactly opposite the filling station). At Bolade T-Junction, along the Agege Motor Road, there is another of such, and about 400 metres away from that spot, still along the Agege Motor Road, by Ladipo Bus-stop, there is another crater.

In Ikeja, by LASUTH Bridge, there are two of such large potholes. While one is by the roundabout, the other is only metres away by the foot of the bridge, inbound the airport.

Along the Airport Road, by Junction Bus Stop, there is a crater, which is widening at great speed, while another such crater is by 7&8 Bus Stop, outbound the airport.

Mile 2 area of the state is not spared the menace. By Mile 2 Oke Bus Stop are multiple potholes that are capable of hurting cars that mistakenly run into them. On the service lane of Charity Bus Stop is another set of multiple potholes that are widening daily. Also, within Oshodi inner roads are terribly bad spots. They are found on Oshodi and Ewe Nla roads.

A short distance away from the foot of Isolo Bridge, just opposite the Lagos State Polytechnic, Isolo, a cocktail of craters are also widening there. Just as one ascends the bridge, which is across the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, another deep ditch is strategically located there.

Emeka Ike, is one of those motorists that has a bitter tale to tell about these multiple potholes. He said: “I normally pass through Orile from Victoria Island to link my house in Coker area. But somewhere around Doyin Bus Stop, I ran into this pothole and it left two of my tyres damaged, the front and back tyres of the right side of the car. While the one in front got burst, the rim of the second tyre got bent.”

Even though it was late at night that the incident happened, a terrified Ike got help from unexpected sources, street urchins, better known as area boys, who shepherded him to somewhere in Orile, where he got a vulcaniser to repair the rim and replace the burst tyre.

On his way to Mile 2, Tajudeen Adebisi, who said he had forgotten that there was a big ditch opposite the filling station before Cele Bus Stop nearly caused an accident.

“I had forgotten that there was this big ditch opposite the filling station before Cele Bus Stop. So as I was about to run into this pothole, I swerved to my right, oblivious that another vehicle was coming behind me. It was a very narrow escape because the two cars would have rammed into each other. I must, however, commend the other driver, because if not for his alertness, it would have been a different story altogether,” Adebisi said.

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