The rainy seasons in Nigeria exacerbate a major problem the nation is faced with: terrible roads. Potholes become rivers, leaving both pedestrians and motorists faced with a hellish commute. Ago Palace way in Okota, Lagos is a prime example.
A stretch of road, almost 1km long, according to residents, is submerged under water making commute almost impossible. Drivers navigate the waters with dread and every so often a bus or private car is seen stuck on the road, unable to power through. It is the picture of neglect and has remained in its present pitiful state for years now.
Here’s what’s interesting, some of Ago Palace way was recently repaired by government. However, according to some residents who talked to me about it, the work was stopped along the at certain points of Ago Palace way when land and business owners rejected plans by the Lagos State government to expand the road. Expanding would have meant breaking down some buildings in part or completely.
The government was willing to compensate, but the land owners balked and sued the government instead. While the case was in court, work stalled on the road.
One property owner, the pastor of a church along the road, said the court case between the government and landowners was settled in January of this year and the land owners compensated. Still, fixing the horrid stretch of road had not been accounted for in the 2013 budget, so pedestrians and motorists will have to deal with flooded streets for another year, another rainy season.
Businesses in the area suffer because of it and development has stalled, not to mention the wear and tear on vehicles and commuters.
What’s worse is the government is yet to indicate that road repairs for the Okota area will be included in the 2014 budget, leaving them to fear that the neglected road will remain… well, neglected.
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