In a bid to extend the lifespan of Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, the Federal Government has ordered trucks and trailers parking on the road should vacate to prevent its collapse.
The government said that their continued stay, conversion to garage and pouring of used petroleum products was capable of destroying the roads constructed with several billions.
Directing the trucks to vacate, Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, directed officials of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) to enforce traffic compliance on the federal highways.
At the Stakeholders Town Hall Meeting held at the Ogere end of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway on Saturday, the Minister blamed the activities of the trucks and trailers drivers on the delay in the completion of work on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
Fashola said: “The point is that trucking and trailer operation is business if you want to run fleets, then you must plan parking. if the government helps you, the government does so out of compassion but you cannot run your business at the expense of the convenience and the livelihood of millions of people.
“So, money that has been hard to find and the road that has been difficult to build, you have already started pouring diesel on it, that is the beginning of the destruction of the road and my appeal to you today is to immediately leave the road from today, immediately.
“Parking on the highway is a violation of the Federal Highway Act which you (FRSC) have a duty to enforce, so, work with the stakeholders, truck owners, Kabiyesis (monarchs) and State Government, let us find an immediate way to resolve this problem so that contractors can complete their job and respond to those that say it’s (Lagos-Ibadan expressway project) taking too much time.
Earlier, the state governor, Dapo Abiodun appealed to the apex government to give special consideration to roads in the State as it plays host to the largest industrial hub in the country.
The governor said that the roads in the State have become deplorable due to activities of heavy-duty trucks that have considered the state as a safe haven to park their trucks.
“It is just right to say that Ogun State deserves a special status in terms of consideration for road constructions.
I believe this is doable. It is not just for Ogun State, it is for the common good of all Nigerians and continued development of our great nation” he noted.
He said most part of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, the longest road that leads to busiest Air and Sea Port in the country, is in the State and has over time deteriorated and become a nightmare to motorists and other road users.
“We are particularly delighted that the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway is receiving Federal Governments attention.
Indeed, in the last two or three weeks, this road has been a nightmare. At certain points, I have had to personally intervene by directing traffic.
“Experience on this road diminishes the fact that this road leads to the busiest sea and air ports in Nigeria.
We bear the most of the hardship on this road because the longest stretch of the road is in Ogun State.
Whether the stretch from Lagos to Ibadan or the stretch that leads to the East-West Road of Sagamu-Benin Expressway, the longest stretch lies in Ogun State”, he noted.
While appreciating the Federal Government for constructing the road, Governor Abiodun whoever pointed out ecological challenges facing the State as a result of the mining activities by the construction company, calling for more supervision in the issuing of mining licence to serve the environment.
The Governor informed that his administration has commence the construction of the Ijebu-Epe road, while appeal has been made to the Federal Government for the take over of the Lagos-Sango-Abeokuta road to take the load off the Lagos-Ibadan road as well as the 19.8km Atan-Lusada-Agbara, which play host to multinational and domestic industries.
Prince Abiodun who also pointed out the bad condition of the Sagamu-Ogijo-Ikorodu road, said though the state has done Palliatives on some of the roads, these could not be enough as total reconstruction was needed for durability.
He said two fire stations would be built at Isheri and Mowe, to respond to fire emergencies, while a trailer park would be sited at Sagamu to provide alternative to Ogere axis.