NECA Decries State Of Federal Roads
Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association, NECA, has expressed concerns over the failed road networks across the country, stressing that it posed grave danger to the life of citizens and the economy at large.
Director-General of NECA, Mr. Olusegun Oshinowo, in a statement, lamented that the worst hit were the 194,000-kilometre network of federal roads that had deteriorated over the years and cut off many states and communities.
According to Oshinowo, “hardly can you find a major highway in the country without related problem of disrepair: Shagamu – Ore – Benin road and the Lagos-Ota highway, with burned-out metal carcasses of crashed minibuses and wrecked cars doting the sides, the ever-busy Warri-Port Harcourt road and its large portions of crumbled asphalt overlay and potholes, the totally collapsed Ughelli – Asaba highway and Okene – Kabba – Ilorin road network, the abandoned Abuja-Lokoja Expressway project, to mention but a few.
The most pathetic is the 127.6-kilometre-long Lagos–Ibadan Expressway connecting Ibadan and Lagos – the commercial centre of Nigeria and without doubt the busiest inter-state route in Nigeria”. The reconstruction of the expressway was flagged off on July 2013 and had since been abandoned causing untold hardship to motorists. Several failed portions of the potholed highway that connects two major cities in Africa’s most populous nation have become the nightmare of the road users, thereby causing serious traffic congestion along the roads, loss of man hours and risk to the lives of citizens. The logjams has also become an opportunity for bandits to have field days”
The poor state of the roads has had manifold effects on the private sector, the economy and the citizens. World Health Organisation, WHO’s statistics – Global Status Report on Road Safety, 2015 puts Nigeria at number three in the world’s highest number of fatalities on the roads, behind China and India. More worrisome is the colossal financial allocations over the years to develop our roads without a corresponding result: for instance, investigation revealed that N4.14 trillion was appropriated from 1999 to 2013 by the National Assembly for road repairs, maintenance, etc”.
The employers’ body reiterated that in spite of the enormous opportunities in the Nigerian business environment and the touted potentials for Nigeria to emerge as a big player in the world economic scene, the continued neglect of critical infrastructure like a good road network complemented by an effective integrated transportation system would continue to retard the development of the Country.
It, called on Federal Government in the context of its “change mantra” to make good things to happen sooner than later.
Source: Vanguard Nigeria