Potholes on a Lagos road

Motorists in Lagos on Tuesday called on Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu to ensure the ongoing road rehabilitation projects across the state are of good quality.

The motorists, who spoke with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos, commended Sanwo-Olu for swinging into action to repair roads but said that many governments initiated road repairs do not last.

Recall that the Lagos State Government had on Oct. 13 declared a state of emergency on various dilapidated highways and inner roads. Sanwo-Olu ordered massive construction work on critical roads and highways across the state, beginning from Oct. 14.

The Governor said Lagos State Public Works Corporation would be carrying out repairs on 116 inner roads across the state in addition to over 200 roads already rehabilitated by the corporation in the last three months.

He said that he was not unaware of the pain experienced by road users, which was compounded by the persistent downpour.

Mr. Emmanuel Babatunde, an Uber driver plying various roads across the state, told NAN that the government needed to supervise the rehabilitation closely, to ensure a quality repair.

“We need quality repair of roads. It is sad to see portions being repaired after just a few weeks of repair; it has got worse because of dishonesty and corruption. If we are repairing a-2-kilometre stretch of road, let the work be good enough for all categories of vehicles, including heavy-duty, to ply.

“What we see is that most of these repairs don’t last because they are not well repaired and supervised. If the repair is good, the government will rest for a long time before coming back to those roads, but what we see is the opposite.”

Mr. Ayobami Adesina, another motorist, commended the governor for making move to alleviate the suffering of the motoring public by repairing dilapidated roads.

“Motorists and passengers are suffering now in this state because the roads are bad and are flooded anytime it rains. We spend a lot of hours in traffic gridlock each day now. I think that Sanwo-Olu has done well by declaring a state of emergency on roads, but this repair should not be wishy-washy.”

In his remarks, Mr. Ganiu Lawal, Head of Public Affairs, Lagos State Public Works Corporation (LSPWC) told NAN that the heavy rainfall had not allowed actual road rehabilitation to begin, hence ongoing fixing of critical portions.

Lawal explained that the corporation was only using boulder, crushed stones, and other sub-base materials to stabilise critical roads pending clemency of weather for the actual rehabilitation of the 116 roads to begin.

He said that the corporation had on some occasions called off the final stage of repair works, which was the laying of asphalt, due to heavy rainfall.

“The boulders, crushed stones, and sub-base materials are just to stabilise the roads until the rains are over; then, we come back and fill with asphalt.

“We know definitely that the rains will wash some of the materials away but we should do some of those palliatives and reduce the stress of commuters and road users than waiting for the roads to get bad.

“That is why we are doing palliatives by filling the potholes to make it stable for people to have comfort on the roads. That is not our best, it is just a palliative for ease of movement, though sometimes there are bumpy rides. It is better than having the craters and potholes without anything being done,” he said.