State governments’ commitment to road infrastructural development is on the decline, with many state roads across the country in terrible conditions, The PUNCH’s investigations have shown.
Findings revealed that in the six geopolitical zones of the country, states roads were worse off with many contracts awarded for their construction abandoned.
Bad roads constitute huge cost to manufacturing operations
The President, Manufacturers Association of Nigeria, Mansur Ahmed, in an interview with The PUNCH, said transport infrastructure was vital for industrial growth.
Ahmed, who urged state governments to emulate the Federal Government by involving the private sector in road construction, said the poor state of the roads in the country constituted a huge cost to manufacturing operations. He added that it was also making the sector uncompetitive.
In the same vein, the Chairman of MAN Power Development Company and MAN Infrastructure Development Committee, Usman Ibrahim, said, “Roads are deplorable all over the country. This is the kind of situation that discourages foreign investments.”
The President, Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry, Mr Babatunde Ruwase, said, “Cost of transport is a major input in the computation of industrial cost and this has been the reason why transport cost in Nigeria is higher than normal.”
We make investors desert us – OGUNCCIMA
On its part, the Ogun State Chamber of Commerce, Mines, Industry and Agriculture, said the terrible conditions of roads, particularly in the industrial towns of Ota and Agbara, were retarding the economic growth of the state.
The OGUNCCIMA first Deputy President, Wasiu Olaleye, in an interview with The PUNCH, said, “We make investors to desert us. For example, there was a day we were expecting a visitor from Germany in Ogun State. He came from the German Chamber of Commerce and the man could not reach Abeokuta.
“What happened? The expressway was blocked. The man turned back because he had a flight to catch. He was a representative of the German Chamber of Commerce and he was around to have a meeting with us.”
Some residents of the state, in separate interviews with The PUNCH, said the immediate past state government abandoned a lot of road projects.
The residents said the road sector would be one of the criteria for assessing the present administration of Governor Dapo Abiodun.
Some of the worst hit areas is Agbado in the Ifo Local Government Area of the state, Ibafo and Mowe of the Obafemi Owode Local Government Area, where residents lamented the absence of motorable roads and the challenges they faced especially during the rainy season.
Specifically, the residents of Agbado decried the hardship they were facing due to the poor state of the Olusegun Osoba Road in the community.
Also, the road that leads to the Moshood Abiola Polytechnic is a serious threat to the lives of students, lecturers and motorists that ply it.
When one of our correspondents visited the 15-kilometre Agbado Road in Ifo, it was observed that the road, which links Ogun with Lagos states, was constructed by the former governor Olusegun Osoba in 2001.
Ogun politicians only come to Agbado once in four years to campaign
A motorist, Nurudeen Owonikoko, in an interview with The PUNCH, said, “It is high time the state government focused on rehabilitating this road because it is horrible. We have not felt the presence of the government in this area.
“Politicians only come here once in four years when they want to campaign. They have totally ignored us as this is not part of Ogun State.”
The spokesperson for the Student Union of MAPOLY, Idowu Johnson, called for the construction of the road from the polytechnic to Iyana Oloke.
He said, “The state of the road has been the bane of academic activities as it has affected movement of students and staff.”
No road in Ibafo communities – Residents
Also, the Chairman, Harmony Estate Community Development Association, Sefu Elelede, Ibafo, Mr Cornelius Olaifa, said if not for the cooperation of members of the community, the area which extended to Makogi, Magada, Sefu Ota from Ago-Igbala to Eyin School would have long been cut off.
“Ibafo is an abandoned and neglected part of Ogun State. Everything you see here is done by communal efforts. No government presence.
No road in the whole of Ibafo and even if you cannot tar the roads, is it too much to grade them? Ogun State to me is the least developed in the South-West in terms of road and rural development.
“From Ago-Igbala to Eyin School down to Sefu, to Magada, to connect Magboro from the back, there is no single motorable road. If you go to the Ibafo Police Station down to Oko Success, the story is the same as the only link road is always in a terrible state.
When contacted, the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Kunle Somorin, said, “The government has earmarked three roads in each of the local government areas for rehabilitation. Work will commence soon on them.”
In Ondo State, investigations revealed that many roads owned by the state government needed repairs.
The PUNCH correspondent observed that roads including the Ikare Akoko-Awara Road, Owo-Ute Road, the Orita Obele-Ire Akari Estate Road, the Iwaro Oka-Ayegunle Road, among others were in terrible conditions.
It was gathered that some of the roads, which were constructed by the Adebayo Adefarati administration had been abandoned by the successive administrations in the state.
A civil servant in Owo, who spoke on condition of anonymity, urged the government not to be selective on the roads projects, saying every part of the state was entitled to good roads.
The residents of Igisogba Ire-Akari in Obele-Estate, Akure, also appealed to Governor Rotimi Akeredolu of the state, to, as a matter of urgency, act on the poor state of their roads.
According to a resident, Mary Ogunleye, the area has become a nightmare to both residents and visitors, following the bad condition of the road.
Roads in Akoko land need rehabilitation – Motorcyclist
Also, a commercial motorcyclist at Ikare Akoko, Wasiu Ogunleye, who commended the government for the reconstruction of the dangerous Oke Alabojuto Road in the town, however, said most roads in the area were in a state of disrepair.
He said, “Most state roads in the entire Akoko land need rehabilitation. We are really suffering. Government in the past had abandoned our roads.”
Anybody saying we haven’t not done anything is mischievous – Akeredolu’s aide
But the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Segun Ajiboye, said the Akeredolu administration had done a lot in the area of road construction.
He said, “If anybody says we have not done anything on roads, it is either the person is talking out of ignorance or he is being mischievous because many roads have been touched.”
Abandoned road projects litter Kwara
Meanwhile, findings in Kwara State revealed that contracts for the Asa Dam-Egbejil-Ilorin Airport Road and the Coca Cola Bridge-Baba-Ode Road had been awarded since 2013.
The PUNCH correspondent, who visited the two projects on Wednesday, observed that no work was being done there.
For the Asa Dam-Egbejila/Ilorin Airport Road, it was observed asphalt had been laid up to Egbejila town, but the remaining part from Egbejila to Ilorin Airport was almost impassable.
No vehicle to transport our crops to market – Community leader
Speaking in the same vein, the Mogaji (the head) of Egbejila, Alhaji Momodu Ayinla, said the people of Egbejila and Odore communities in the Asa Local Government Area of the state, whom he claimed were predominantly farmers, had been affected by the bad condition of the road.
When contacted, the Chief Press Secretary to the state governor, Rafiu Ajakaye, said apart from the budgetary allocation to reconstruct roads in the state, Governor Abdulrahman Abdulrazaq’s administration had mapped out plans to partner some international organisations to address the problem of bad roads.
The PUNCH’s investigations showed that the Tsafe-Yankuzo-Yanwaren Daji Road in the Tsafe Local government Area of Zamfara State was one of the worst roads owned by the state government.
Findings revealed that the road, which linked many communities, was constructed in 1980 by the first civilian governor of the defunct Sokoto State, Alhaji Shehu Kangiwa.
Another indigene of the area, Alhaji Musa Sale, said he left his village, Yankuzo, and relocated to Tsafe town to avoid travelling on the road.
A motorist, Mallam Garba Shehu, told The PUNCH that the condition of the road had worsened to the extent that he travelled on the road only when his passengers agreed to pay him a reasonable amount.
The Chairman of the Tsafe Local Government, Alhaji Mudi Tsafe, said he had reported the issue to the new governor of the state, Alhaji Bello Mutawalle, whom he said promised to repair the road.
Osun neglects Osogbo-Iwo, Ede-Ejigbo-Ogbomoso roads
In Osun State, the Osogbo-Iwo Road and Ede-Ejigbo-Ogbomoso Boundary Road are in state of disrepair.
Investigations revealed that the last repair that was carried on the Osogbo-Iwo Road was done by the administration of Chief Bisi Akande, who was the governor between 1999 and 2003.
Commenting on the poor state of the road, the Oluwo of Iwo, Oba Abdulrasheed Akanbi, told The PUNCH that he rehabilitated the road shortly after he became the Oluwo because many commuters had already abandoned it.
He said the poor state of the road also increased threat of attacks by Fulani herdsmen and robbers, who had at different times kidnapped and robbed people in the area.
A community leader in Ara, a town in the Egbedore Local Government Area of the state, Prince Kadejo Adegboye, said most of the bad portions of the Ede-Ejigbo Road were within his community.
When contacted, the state Supervisor of Works, Mr Remi Omowaiye, said the state and the federal governments had completed the design of the Osogbo-Iwo Road.
He added that the death of the contractor handling the rehabilitation of Ede-Ejigbo-Oyo Boundary Road stalled the project.
Omowaiye assured residents that the contract would soon be given to another contractor.
No smooth ride on Cross River roads
The collapsed portion of the MCC-Idundu Road, which links Calabar Municipality with the Akpabuyo Local Government Area of Cross River State, needs an urgent attention.
The Clan Head of Kasuk Qua Clan II, in the Calabar Municipality LGA, Cross River, Ntoe Ededem Ayito, in an interview with The PUNCH, expressed concern about the state of the road.
Traditional ruler blames NDDC for bad roads in Cross River
He said, “A lot of vehicles in the community have been parked because the road is very bad. The NDDC (the Niger Delta Development Commission) came and scrapped the road and made it worse.
“They should have allowed it to remain the way it was since they could not repair it for us. We could have managed it. The road has been like that for the past eight years.”
We cannot do everything – C’River gov’s aide
But the Chief Press Secretary to the Governor, Mr Christian Ita, in an interview with The PUNCH, said, “We cannot be everywhere. We have been intervening even on federal roads like the Tinapa-Odukpani Road and the state government has not been reimbursed by the Federal Government. The Idundu road was fixed recently. It has just collapsed again. It is a federal road. Why can’t we hold the Federal Government responsible for its roads?”
Most Enugu roads are bad
In Enugu State, most local roads leading to communities are in deplorable conditions. When it rains, residents find it difficult to travel out of their areas.
One of such communities is the Ihuokpara community in the Nkanu East Local Government Area of the state.
A teacher, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said, “On many occasions, people would come from Enugu, the state capital, to buy foodstuffs and they would be trapped in the community for three to four days because of terribly bad roads.”
The President General of the Ihuokpara Town Union, Francis Uzoechi, said, “Despite the fact that the local government headquarters is less than three kilometres from here, our road is impassable.”
Efforts to get reactions of the LG Chairman, Mr Godwin Ubagu, failed as he neither answered calls to his phone nor responded to text messages sent to him.
Lagos residents express concern over bad roads
Also, residents of many parts of Lagos State expressed concern about the bad roads in their areas.
For instance, a businessman, Dayo Okedina, who resides in the Ijede area of Ikorodu, lamented over the poor state of the Ijede Road.”
The 32-year-old said, “The Ijede road is very terrible. It is an eyesore. We want Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu to urgently inspect the road to have a first-hand experience of the hardship drivers and passengers usually go through.
“In every 200 to 300 metres movement on the road, you must encounter potholes, particularly when you get to Eleshin Bus Stop, before Elepe; you will observe that the road is terrible and gridlock usually happens around that axis and this makes us spend hours on a journey that should not last more than 15 minutes.”
Bauchi govt abandoned road project, despite demolishing shops
In Bauchi State, investigations showed that the contract for the expansion of the Federal Low-Cost Housing Road in Bauchi, the state capital, was awarded by the immediate past governor, Mohammed Abubakar, in 2015.
When one of our correspondents travelled on the road on Friday, he observed that only about 500 metres of it had been completed.
Residents of the area and motorists lamented that the state government had abandoned the road. A meat seller, Sharabil Alhassan, said whenever it was about to rain, they would become restless.
A community leader in the Railway area of Bauchi, Hassan Hussaini, stated, “This road project shouldn’t have been started in the first place. Some people have not sold their houses, but the dust from the road has forced them to leave them to rent apartments in other places.”
He said, “There are 300 shops that have closed down as a result of this work. I know some people who have totally left Bauchi State because of this road construction.”
The community leader regretted that traders whose shops were either totally pulled down or partly demolished, were not adequately compensated.
He said, “What they were given was not compensation, but money to move their goods from there because they were not compensated as it should be.
“There was a trader whose shop was worth N1.1m, but he was just given N250, 000. You see, he was just given money to transport his goods out of the place. You can imagine people who were just managing and selling their goods and they were given such money.”
Speaking on the matter, the Senior Special Assistant to the Bauchi State Governor on Media, Mukhtar Gidado, said the government was committed to completing all “abandoned projects” in the state.
Gidado said, “The government will study all the awarded contracts and those ones that have reached appreciable levels and those that have not. We could retain contractors based on their level of competence and due process, we will do that. Where we feel they have not performed, the government will revoke the contract and award same to other contractors.”