Posted on Fri 25 Aug 2017, 02:35 PM

People have different veiws of why Lagos has turned out to be this congested and slowly becoming a mocery of a city. There are diverse views too on how the lives of residents can be made better while sustaining the dream of a mega city. 

Kelechi Deca here share a thought on his facebook wall and the conclusion is thought provoking.

"Re-creating another "Lagos' in say Port Harcourt or Calabar will not diminish the existing Lagos"

Yesterday, August 24, I was on my way to The State House Marina for a meeting when I encountered a worrying spectacle from Alaka to Ijora Olopa. Trucks lined up from Alaka to Apapa on one side, and another stretched from Alaka to Ijora Olopa then to Apapa. From Alaka to Ijora Olopa, I counted about 183 heavy duty trucks on top of bridges that are over 30 years old. My LASTMA contact later confirmed that they are dealing with excess of 3600 trucks.Since morning, everywhere has been in a lockdown.

Why do we go through this circle around this same time of the year every year. Do we ever learn from problems or do we always allow challenges to peter out?

Three years ago, I wrote that Lagos is a victim of its success. I also noted that there is need for the federal government in collaboration with the Lagos State Government to embark on ways of opening up access routes linking up different parts of Lagos to ease congestion. A less congested Lagos will contribute far more to economic growth and human development.
In most parts of the world, trucks are not allowed on the roads between 6:00am and 9:59pm. But not in Nigeria. Infact all the (albeit halfhearted efforts by successive administrations of the Lagos State government have been vehemently resisted by truck drivers and owners. It is funny that a tiny group of individuals will hold 20 million people to ransom, endangering lives and property with rickety trucks on daily basis while government watch helplessly.This year alone, there has been over 50 incidents involving articulated vehicles leading to losses of lives and property across Lagos.

We still have 1962 Super Beaver ferrying 180 feet containers without straps or restraints. 42 year old rickety Iveco trucks that cant ascend bridges and seriously smoking 50 year old M.A.N trucks all over the place.......when I was a kid, there was a traffic terminology called 'Off Road" what happened to that order?

What a thinking government should have done a long time ago, and can still do, is link Apapa with a standard gauge rail line to move containers in their thousands to somewhere around Shagamu or Ogere. There is an existing rail line linking Apapa to Iddo via Ijora and Costain, lay the new tracks on the existing route, then construct a massive transshipment dry port at Shagamu and Ogere where the trucks and other ports activities will be taking place. This will definitely decongest Lagos.

In addition, do whatever is necessary to get the ports in Port Harcourt, Warri and Calabar to be optimally operational. A policy of incremental expansionary economic space creation will lead to massive economic growth, and help reduce political and sectional tensions. Constraints of any type restrains creativity and growth., and engender sectional bickering.

Re-creating another "Lagos' in say Port Harcourt or Calabar will not diminish the existing Lagos. We are a nation of 180 million people, we can conveniently sustain 10 thriving mega cities of the calibre of Lagos, and each will be growing without diminishing the other. But to achieve that, we need thinking men and women whose faculties are not yet constrained by poor visuals of what is possible. It was not spirits that built Dubai in a desert.It was 3rd World country thinking humans.

I would love to have Dr. Yemi Kale and his team at the NBS calculate the overall cost of traffic congestion in Lagos on the economy, from lost man hours, to wear and tear on vehicles, replacement values, structural integrity tests on the bridges and the roads to determine shelf life loss, impact of noise and air pollution, and above all, the total health implications of all these on Lagosians.

Nigerians should stop voting in men and women whose experiences in life and environments imposed a mental glass ceiling on their ability to visualise unconventional and innovative solutions to uncommon problems. Most of our leaders are infected with so much poverty and lack mentality while growing up. It clogs their ability to mentally accommodate the bigger picture of anything.

All they can do is steal from the public purse because that is all their lack mentality can visualise. It keeps replaying their childhood images of when they couldn't have breakfast or dinner as a child, no sandals, no shoes, no Christmas Rice etc etc.....they will keep stealing to feed that fear........


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