Fadekemi Ajakaiye with agency report
The Chairman, Lagos State Council, Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), Mr Adeleye Ajayi, has commended the Federal Government for the free flow of traffic being enjoyed on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway as a result of temporary re-opening of the highway to traffic.
Ajayi, in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) yesterday, joined some other road users to hail the authorities the seamless movement now experienced on the highway.
The Federal Ministry of Works had on Monday re-opened closed lanes on the Section one of the highway which spans Ojota in Lagos to Sagamu Interchange to traffic days ahead of schedule.
The re-opening, which entailed removal of barriers that had been used to narrow lanes in the area, followed the suspension of reconstruction works on the OPIC axis of the expressway until January, to ease traffic flow during the festive period.
“I drove through the highway this morning and the road was free. Even the usual gridlock on the Long Bridge has disappeared,” Ajayi said.
He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari, the Minister for Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola and his engineers for being sensitive to the plight of Nigerians to re-open the highway to accommodate Yuletide travels.
He said that people had horrowing experience on the highway in the past due to loss of man-hours but the current reality of seamless movement was good and should be sustained.
Ajayi appealed to the federal government to utilise the dry season to meet its newly set completion deadline of March 2023 on the highway ahead of the rains in April.
Mr Anayo Valentine, a commercial bus driver who plies the Ojodu Berger to Magboro axis, told NAN that before the re-opening of the highway to traffic, transporters charged N500.00 or more for the short journey because of the gridlock.
“Because of the hold up we used to calculate our time and fuel, that was why we charged high fares but now it is different,” he said.
Mrs Gloria Faisal, a resident of Sparklight Estate, Arepo, told NAN that the re-opening had given her courage to drive on the highway again.
Faisal said she stopped driving on the highway for over 10 months because of the congestion and confusion caused by gridlock as a result of construction works and reckless driving.
“I resorted to taking commercial motorcycles and vehicles when I could not cope. One day I spent seven hours in traffic, it was easier because I was not the one driving but now I am happy, as you can see, I am driving myself,” she said.
A fruit trader in Mowe, Malam Abdullahi Inuwa, said that the free flow which was positively impacting businesses, and he could now freely move between various markets in Lagos and Ogun to restock.
Other commuters, who spoke with NAN, also thanked President Buhari, Fashola and his team and appealed for timely completion of the project because of the high traffic volume on the axis.