Gridlock paralyses Lagos, fares skyrocket

FILE: Traffic gridlock at Mile12 on Ikorodu Road in Lagos on Thursday (2/8/18).
FILE: Traffic gridlock at Mile12 on Ikorodu Road in Lagos on Thursday (2/8/18). 04168/2/8/2018/Babatunde Atolagbe/BJO/JAU/NAN

Commercial activities came to a total halt at Iganmu, Costain Roundabout, Ijora, Funsho Williams Avenue and other areas on the Lagos Mainland as trucks blocked highways, forcing commercial vehicle operators to increase fares by a record hundred per cent.

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that it was bedlam, especially at Iganmu on Monday as articulated vehicles and other motorists drove against traffic, causing logjam on various roads.

Lagos, Nigeria’s economic hub has been in traffic chaos in recent years, caused by lawlessness on highways and an apparent inability of traffic managers to enforce rules to check lawlessness.

Analysts have blamed the situation on what they describe as poor governance in a mega city dotted by poor roads and bubbling with human activities.

Speaking to NAN on the gridlock, some commuters lamented the inability of the Lagos State Government to find a lasting solution to the problem.

Commercial motorist Olakunle Ajayi described his driving from Costain to Orile as a nightmare because of motorists driving against traffic.

“I’m sick and tired of Lagos. Do we still have government in this state?’’, he asked as hoodlums, known popularly as “area boys’’ extorted money from to allow him passage.

“I don’t like driving against traffic because sometimes it can be fatal but with no other road to my destination, l’m forced to do one-way,” Ajayi said.

Another motorist, lsmaila Ahmadu, who plies the Ojuelegba to ljora highway, said that the gridlock had ruined the business of many commercial motorists because their daily trips had been reduced.

“My tricycle is on hire purchase. I have to pay off to own it but with this gridlock, l don’t know what to do.

“I am tired of this hardship.”

A trader, Angela Abumeri, said that she endured a long wait at Fadeyi Bus Stop in her bid to get a bus going to Orile.

“I woke up around 4 a.m. to buy fruits from Ketu. Going home is now difficult because transporters are breaking the journey to collect double fare,’’ Mrs Abumeri said.

A truck driver, who simply gave his name as Danjuma told NAN that truck drivers resorted to blocking the roads because traffic managers were forcing them out of Lagos bridges.

“Traffic managers have gone tough on us. They chased us from parking on the bridges and since we have no alternative, we have to park on the middle of the roads.

Reacting to the development, the Chief Executive Officer of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Mr Chris Olakpe, restated that LASTMA was on top of the situation.

He said that the agency had been working hard to tackle the gridlock. (NAN)

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