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Sanity still eludes Ladipo spare parts market, environs

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Ladipo Spare Parts Market

Motorists plying roads bordering and within Ladipo Automobile Spare Parts Market in the Mushin area of Lagos State, are livid with rage over the uncouth and inconsiderate manner that traders in the market go about their activities.

Apart from motorists, residents of the area, and surrounding neighbourhoods like Papa Ajao, Matori Industrial Layout and parts of Oshodi Apapa Expressway are also not spared the nuisance caused by auto mechanics who, working hand-in-gloves with the traders, have turned many streets and street corners to mechanic workshops.

Worse still, some persons in the market have converted long stretches of Ladipo Road, Ojekunle, Ozoro Way, Jumoke Way, Alhaji Lamidi, Alhaji Amusa Street, Alhaji Abass Olisa Street, Olanibi Street, Akinbayode Street, and parts of the service lane of the expressway (around Toyota Bus Stop) to mechanic workshops or illegal parking lot.

Along Ladipo Road, Alhaji Amusa, and Ozoro Way among others, some agents/sellers popularly known as baranda have constituted themselves into a band of extortionists collecting as much as N500 from buyers/visitors to the market in the name of parking fees.

As the state government appears helpless in curbing the excesses of these people, another issue that worries residents is the rate at which streets in and around the market deteriorate owing to the pressure mounted on them by articulated vehicles, dozens of which pour into the market daily.

One of those bothered by the unwholesome activities of traders and other operators in the market is Atinuke Ibidapo, a banker who lives along Layi Oyekanmi Street in the area.

On her way to work in Maryland, Ibidapo enjoys gliding past the service lane of Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, from Iyana Isolo Bus Stop, especially the newly resurfaced stretch between RUTAM House and Charity Bus Stop.

She would have loved a similar experience on the return leg of the trip, but it appears that would never be possible as long as the spare parts market is still located within this neighbourhood.

“When I cruise on this service lane at bout 7am from Iyana Isolo up to Charity Bus Stop, where I access the expressway, it is always a pleasant experience. The experience recently got better after the bad stretch from around OK Biscuit (around Toyota Bus Stop) to Charity Bus Stop were remedied.

But on my way back from work, as I descend the bridge to access the service lane around the Nigerian Armed Forces Resettlement Centre at Oshodi, my heart would begin to skip because I am definitely unsure of the traffic situation that I am going to meet around the market,” Ibidapo laments.

She continued: “It is either Oshodi-bound vehicles have taken over the entire lanes on the expressway, as well as, the entire lanes on the service lane, or container-bearing trucks have taken over a reasonable part of the service lane.

The most annoying part is when mechanics partition parts of the service lane and use the spaces as mechanic workshops forcing vehicles to move at snail’s speed. So, I think it’s time the state government takes a stand and curb this menace by the traders and mechanics.

Olalekan Adetayo shares Ibidapo’s call on the state government to enforce discipline on roads bordering the market owing to the nuisance constituted by the traders and sundry elements who carry out transactions in and around the spare parts market.

According to him, “Even if the government spends N100b to fix roads in and around the market, if it fails to enforce discipline, those traders would wreck the entire place within a twinkle of an eye because of the dangerous activities of some traders or importers.

“How can trucks bearing containers be lined up on the road, by importers, for days pending when they would offload without consideration for other road users?

For crying out loud, these guys do not even pay their taxes despite the millions they are making, but they take pleasure in inconveniencing others.

It is high time the government took a stand and whip them into line,” Adetayo fumed.

Chairman, Ladipo Central Executive Committee (LACEC) and President General, Ladipo Amalgamated Auto Spare Parts Traders Association, Mr. Jude Chikere Nwankwo, while reacting to allegation that traders have taken over service lanes, and pedestrian walkways in and around the market said the ongoing construction of Ladipo Road, as well as, the access road to the market at the Five Star Bus Stop axis have contributed to making the market outlook to be rough.

“So, we have been appealing, and are still appealing to customers and motorists, who ply roads in and around the market to bear with us.

“We are also making efforts to ease traffic flow in and around the market, with daily deployment of our traffic control and monitoring team to manage the situation.

I and my executive committee members usually go round the market between 4:30 and 6:00pm, when the market is closing to ensure that there is free flow of vehicular and human traffic.

However, we are appealing to the state government to order the contractor back to site to complete the road projects.

We believe that once the construction works are complete, it will ease traffic in and out of the market, and also help boost patronage, which is dropping.”

On the extortion of members of the public by some persons in the market, who charge N500 illegal parking fees, he said, “the money being realised from the illegal tolls on Ladipo Road is not coming to us in LACEC.

Rather, it goes to Mushin Local Government. And it is one of the challenges we face here.

I believe as the people that trade in the market, there should be a certain percentage of the toll allocated to the market.

Commenting on the safety of buyers and traders in the market in the light of recent cult clashes there, Nwankwo said, Cultism has been a serious challenge in the market before his assumption of office, but in his manifesto and during my campaigns, I promised traders that security would be accorded top priority.


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