Nigeria: World Bank Projects collapse in Lagos

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With a whopping credit facility of $200 million (N25.2 billion), World Bank Assisted Improvement projects in Lagos State have not lived up to expectations, THISDAY has learnt.

Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority (LAMATA) supervised and executed most of the projects under the World Bank-Assisted Road Improvement Scheme, towards the end of the administration of former Governor, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, between 2006 and 2007.

But it was gathered that most of the projects executed in Ijegun, Isolo, Ikotun, Ejigbo, Egbeda, Ogba, Isheri, Agege and other key areas are in a deplorable state.

THISDAY checks found that street lights along Ejigbo-Jakande, Egbeda-Akowonjo and Ikotun-Iyana Ipaja roads never functioned since the facilities were reportedly fixed.

While residents applauded the designs when the projects kicked off, because of neat markings, demarcations with road signs and reflectors, the roads have fallen into bad shape, leading to heavy traffic.

Further investigation reve-aled that most of the junctions constructed under the scheme are in need of repairs. Worst hit among them is Wempco in Ikeja. LAMATA made an attempt at repairing the junction by filling the gorge there with bitumen Nevertheless, this has not addressed the problem.

A deep gorge at the left and right sides of the junction is noticeable, forcing motorists approaching Wempco from both sides of the road to drive in the middle lane, thus obstructing vehicular movement.

Also, the Isheri/Metal Box junction by Mobil along Ogba-Agege road has worsened, forcing motorists to avoid the area totally. Government officials deposited bitumen on the road to make it passable recently.

But the situation was different at Ogba Market junction which is still in good shape. The Acme and Coco Junctions on Akilo Road were also in good condition while the junction at Ascon Oil Fuel Station along Akilo road has fresh potholes.

Furthermore, a recently conducted survey shows that Kasimu Aleshinoye Junction off Lateef Jakande road is in a bad state, the several repairs carried out, notwithstanding.

Commenting on the state of the roads and junctions, a civil servant, Mr. David Mark, blamed the contractors that handled the projects. According to him, the projects were poorly executed, resulting in this pitiful state only two years after construction.

Another road user, Mr. Happy Itigba concurred with Mark. He pointed out that the project would have lasted for at least five years if they were properly constructed.

He noted that good roads last for as long as 20 years in developed countries, wondering why these could be in a terrible state in less than three years.

Itigba called on LAMATA to re-award the job, noting that Wempco road is situated in the heart of Ikeja with so much vehicular pressure on a daily basis.

For Godwin Udoh, the problem lies in the quality of materials used when the junctions were constructed.

When contacted on phone, LAMATA Managing Dire-ctor, Mr. Dayo Mobereola could not be reached. LAMATA External Relations Specialist, Mr. Kolawole Ojelabi was also unreachable at press time and an email sent to him was not replied.