Barely three months after Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu called on the federal government to speed up the reconstruction of the popular Lagos-Badagry highway which has been underway for more than eleven years, the governor also made a spectacular remark to the House of Representatives Business Committee who visited him at Lagos House, Alausa-Ikeja. The governor, in his charismatic way of leadership, told the committee that he had heard that only Nigeria, “our giant of Africa” had not yet established its ECOWAS corridor among other small countries. who signed the ECOWAS Treaty of 2009.
Indeed, millions of diverse people have traveled on the corridor to Senegal. Often they openly recount their ordeal when they feel nostalgia for the good experience of traveling from the Republic of Benin to other West African countries. These comments from travelers for years have become a horror for this great country of the sub-region and other international communities.
The huge investments of President Muhammadu Buhari to ensure that the country attains rapid economic revolution have resulted in good achievements in strategic infrastructure, namely: the completion of the northern railway to the Republic of Niger and the Completion of the Nigeria-Cameroon two-lane bridge, including other capital-intensive projects underway in the country, are legacies that would survive the current federal government.
Likewise, the Lagos-Badagry highway is a “gateway to Nigeria”. It has a huge propensity for massive investment opportunities for the Federal Government, Lagos State Government, private investors and millions of people to tap its enormous tourism potentials (in addition to its importance as a hub of major market) for economic recovery and development, improving our nation’s economic stability and improving the quality of life of millions of impoverished Nigerians who are in urgent need of stable livelihoods.
It should be remembered that the world famous jazz music maestro, the late Michael Jackson, had acquired vast hectares of land in Badagry for the tourist development of his ancestral home before his unfortunate death, which brought an end to this great ambition. So, it is very inhuman that investors cannot take this dreadful road, they are less talked about by taking their investments into the hinterland.
During more than eleven years of the saddest road reconstruction, millions of workers, traders and health emergencies inevitably paid severely for the avoidable loss of reasonable travel time due to the government’s unhealthy neglect of the road. federal. How on earth would government staff and others leaving their offices in the Lagos metropolis at 4 p.m. and 5 p.m. arrive home along the road at 11 p.m., 12 p.m. and 1 a.m., and still have to resume their duties the next day? before 8am? Life expectancy is exceeded!
To date, the Lagos-Badagry highway initiated and built by the Lagos State government as a two-lane highway and commissioned on May 25, 1974 has not yet obtained budget approval since the life of the current administration of PMB in the saddle for more than six years. . While after the commissioning of the highway, it is the federal government that has reaped the glory and honor of the Lagos-Badagry highway for its international significance so far. This dramatic takeover led the former Governor of Lagos State, the late Brigadier Mobolaji Johnson (of blessed memory) to recall a popular Yoruba proverb, “a in toju onika mesan ka” in front of one of the ministers of state federal government.
Mr. Babatunde Fashola, SAN, former Governor and current Minister of Public Works and Housing has embarked on the rehabilitation and modernization of the road into a 10-lane highway with the establishment of a fast bus lane ( BRT) and a two-way light rail corridor from Orile to Okokomaiko, to relieve the massive influx of new entrants and residents of the state from the heavy burden of traffic jams. At present, the state government has undertaken the reconstruction of 18 km of the road over 46 km. Thus, the completion by the federal government is approximately 28 km.
This writer is just one voice among millions of people crying helplessly and begging the attention of our dear President Muhammadu Buhari on the Lagos-Badagry highway dragging his feet since 2009. Collectively, we beg Father to our beloved country Nigeria to reconsider reconstruction. of this deplorable road as having immeasurable economic and social value to his government, and should please take urgent measures devoid of any political connotation to hasten the completion of the road under imminent conditions. Alas! It will be a bravo and worthy legacy from our President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
Reuben Hopo lives in Shasha, Alimosho, Lagos.
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