Igi-Olugbin Road: Contractors Ran Away After Elections, Say Residents
RESIDENTS on streets along the Igi-Olugbin Road in the Bariga area of Lagos are urging government to call back contractors, who abandoned a road project in the area after the 2015 elections.
The plea is coming on the heels of the abandonment of the second phase of a construction that runs from Shipeolu Road, around the Palmgroove area of Ikorodu Road, through Igi-Olugbin Road. Though the first phase of the project, which ends at Johnson Street, was completed last year, the other end has since been abandoned, leaving residents and traders along the road traumatised.
The Guardian’s investigation revealed that though drainages have been completed, the rest of the project have been left to rot, as motorists, everyday, brave the pothole ridden, weather-beaten road to make ends meet. The residents, also, are complaining of failing water supply, which had hitherto been delivered through pipes on the road.
A resident, Sodiq, said: “We used to have constant supply of water to the neighbourhood, but since the construction of the road, the pipes have been damaged. We now have to buy water. The situation was horrible early this year, as many of us had to go searching for water in the night, so as to get water for use during the day.
“Obviously, transportation has been a major headache. Since the major road is out of use, the streets have turned expressways overnight. We now have to be extra cautious when stepping out of our houses. Government should try and fix the road as soon as possible. We can no longer bear the burden of its continued abandonment.”
A shop owner in the area, Godsgift Ozabo, said the road was started around June last year and has since brought hardship on residents, noting that its continued neglect would make life unbearable in the area.
According to him, “Some people said they used it to play politics because immediately after the elections, the contractors came to carry their equipment. But I don’t believe that; they gave the work to an incompetent company. Government was looking for cheap labour. The road is less than 2km. It is a shame.”
He said government ought to have left the road the way it was, if they knew they wouldn’t complete it, adding: “The front of my shop is an oasis; people cannot come in to buy what I sell. It is affecting our business. It has damaged many cars. I cringe when I see cars bump into the potholes; I pity the owners of the cars. I help people push their cars out of the bad portions of the road everyday. The road is very bad.”
Decrying the situation, he said: “This is a major road that connects Ikorodu to Bariga and it is a pity that it is taking this long to complete. Some people say that the contractor didn’t return to site because of shortage of funds; I think that is a lie. If they had given him money, the contractor wouldn’t have come to carry his equipment. There are no more machines on the road. And no one is telling us anything. They just dug the gutter and left.”
He pleaded with government to assist the community in completing the project since, “they asked us to vote for them and we have; let them give us change. Let them come and complete this work.”
A Keke Marwa rider, who pleaded anonymity, said the situation has become so bad that alternative routes are overstretched due to unprecedented traffic, stressing, “We take two routes, but both of them is blocked at the moment. We were taking the Igi-Olugbin road, which is where the main road construction is taking place, but at the moment, it is no longer motorable; it is an eyesore. The alternative has gone bad in the last few days. My Keke is damaged. We go to the mechanic everyday. We end up making long journeys and burning scarce fuel. We want government to repair the road. We are not asking too much.”