Lagos State Governor, Mr.Babatunde Raji Fashola, has complained to the Federal Government about the worsening condition of the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, a major highway that links the nation’s busiest sea ports to other parts of the country.
In separate letters to President Goodluck Jonathan and Vice President Nemadi Sambo, the Governor also drew attention to the horrific traffic congestion on the expressway and the need to take urgent steps to fix the ever-busy road.
But the pleas seem to have fallen on deaf ears and the result is that once again, the ever-busy expressway has been plunged into an eyesore and a commuter’s nightmare. Specifically, Governor Fashola had on September, 17, 2012 forwarded a detailed presentation of what should be done to fix the road and ease the traffic congestion to Vice President Namadi Sambo. In the letter entitled “Re: Report of the Deterioration and Regeneration of Apapa, Lagos,” Fashola sought to make a presentation on the state of the road and what the restoration would take, to the National Economic Council.
Proposed presentation to NEC
The letter read in parts: “Further to your Excellency’s indication of no objection to our request to make presentation to the National Economic Council, NEC, on the above subject matter, please find attached for your information, a copy of our proposed presentation to NEC. All necessary copies of the presentation have been forwarded to the NEC Secretariat for listing and further action as may be necessary. We are hopeful that the matter can be listed for the next meeting of NEC and will follow up with the Secretariat in this regard”.
Apparently overwhelmed by the contents of the presentation, the Vice President wrote back to the Governor, suggesting that the matter should be brought to the attention of President Jonathan. In the reply dated October 3, 2013, the Vice President through his Deputy Chief of Staff, Engr. M.A.K Abubakar, stated that in appreciation of the detailed nature of the presentation, which is reckoned to be beyond the consideration of the National Economic Council, NEC, the matter should be brought to the attention of the President for his consideration.
Heeding the counsel, Fashola on November 1, 2013, wrote to President Jonathan stressing the need to follow up on the initial successes that were achieved in bringing sanity on the ever-busy road. The letter read in parts: “Your Excellency will recall the deterioration and congestion of vehicular traffic that characterised the Apapa area and Tin-Can Island which host the two largest sea-ports in Nigeria.
“Apart from the congestion and deterioration, the social and economic impacts of closure of businesses and devaluation of real estate values prompted me to direct the commencement of a clean-up and a clear out with a view to commencing a restoration. Because the congestion and deterioration were connected to the operations of the ports and activities of persons dealing with the operations and some Federal Government agencies, we were delighted to get the cooperation of the Federal Government through a delegation led by the Honourable Minister of Finance, who visited us on your directive.