Published On: Sun, Nov 5th, 2017

Nigeria’s highways of deaths


A failed portion of Benin-Ekpoma-Auchi Road in Edo State


Travelling from one part of the country to another has become a misadventure that many Nigerians now dread venturing into. This is so because the bold ones who ply the roads go through hell before arriving at their destinations, with many bemoaning the terrible experiences they encounter on federal roads scattered across the country.

Business Hallmark investigation shows that virtually all the roads which transverse the breadth and length of the country are in deplorable conditions and require urgent rehabilitation.

Over 80 per cent of the roads from the Southern part of the country to the Northern part have become impassable for vehicles, with worst hit been the South-East and South-South roads.

Several trips on the roads to ascertain their worthiness revealed that large portions of the roads have collapsed and motorists who use them do so at their own peril.

From the Lagos-Abeokuta, Ikorodu-Ijebu-Ode, Ikorodu-Shagamu, Oyo-Ogbomoshoand Ondo–Lagos Expressways in the South West, to Aba-Port Harcourt, Enugu-Port-Harcourt, Onitsha-Enugu, Owerri Port Harcourt, Oweri-Aba, Aba-IkotEkpene and Ninth Mile-Makurdi roads in the South East, Benin-Ore Sagamu, Ekpoma-Auchi Road, East-West and Agbor-Obiaruku-Sapele Roads in the South-South and Okene – Lokoja, Ilorin-Jebba-Mokwa, Kano-Zaria, Maiduguri-Damaturu roads in the North, to mention a few, travelling is sheer nightmare.

Just weeks ago, BH made a trip to Ifo, less that 30 kilometers outside Lagos. The energy-sapping trip from the old Tollgate to Sango-Ota and Ifo before Ewekoro, was like passing through hell.

While the traffic on the road was frustrating, the road is in a pitiable condition that one wonders why a federal road linking two of the nation’s most developed states are in such deplorable condition.

From the old Tollgate through the Sango motor park, Joju Junction, Conoil Junction and Owode, the road is filled with countless huge potholes that motorist could barely enjoy a bit of comfort.

Motorists were seen struggling to avert the yawning ditches on the road. As cars and buses compete for available space, articulated vehicles compound the traffic gloom by either breaking down or moving at a snail pace to secure their contents or containers.

The deplorable state of the road, it was learnt, is causing a daily standstill, which had defied solutions even to the traffic officers in the areas.

The condition of the road is worse on the Owode Bus Stop axis. Potholes on the stretch are wide and deep. Drivers, unfamiliar with the road, run into them. Two of the three vehicles in the convoy of this writer broke down on the road. One of the cars, a Golf Salon, got its sump damaged; it had to be towed back to Sango to be fixed. Another vehicle in the convoy, a Honda Pilot, despite having enough clearance to the ground, lost its silencer. It nevertheless continued the journey with a hail of noise from the faulty exhaust following in its track.

Heavy rains, which the nation has continued to experienced, have also worsened the situation of the road, by washing away the good parts that is left.

In November 2016, temporary repairs were done on the affected sections of the road by the Federal Road Maintenance Agency. However, it was also observed that palliative measures on the road have not proved helpful. Rather, materials, which the federal government agency applied on the roads to alleviate the suffering of travelers, have become another source of torture.

Laterite materials, which turn to mud with every drop of the rains, trap vehicles at every turn thus compounding the plight of the road users, while huge rocks used to fill up some portions of the road now act as weapons, destroying tyres, sumps and suspensions of many vehicles.

A motorist who spoke with BH, Barrister Wale Oyemade, said if he had his way, he would avoid plying the route.

“The road is appalling. It is wrong to continue calling it an expressway. The other option I have is to pass through the Lagos-Sagamu road, which is longer. I am s civil servant and can’t afford the extra cost. Since I don’t have the fuel that will take me that far, I have to pass through this road like that not minding the consequences on my health and vehicle”, he said.

According to BH findings, the situation is the same or worse in other parts of the country, particularly in the South East and South-South where most of the roads feature craters, portholes and gullies in which some unsuspecting motorists are killed on a daily basis.

While virtually all the federal roads in the South East and South-South are in bad state, checks revealed some of the major roads which provided sustained anguish to citizens of the two zones to include the Owerri-Umuahia-IkotEkpene Road, Umuahia-Arochukwu-IkotAnsa-Calabar Road, Enugu-Abakiliki-Calabar Expressway, Ihiala-Umuahia Road, Onitsha-Atani-Bayelsa Road, Owerri-Port Harcourt Road, Onitsha-Enugu Expressway, Enugu-Umuahia-Aba Expressway, East-West Road, Benin-Auchi Expressway, Ewu-OnichaUgbo Road and Agbor-Obiaruku-Sapele Road.

“I can say it without fear of contradiction that virtually all the roads in the South East region are in terrible state”, Emeka Ibemere, a journalist from AbiaState, told our reporter.

Also, the Chairman of Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN) in-charge of Anambra, Ebonyi and Enugu States, Chief Azubuike Okafor, while speaking with BH revealed that not less than 75 manufacturing firms from about 150 in its membership list had shutdown in the last five years over bad access roads, poor infrastructure and others.

He said the development made it unsuitable for the firms to operate in the region.

“About five years ago, we had about 150 manufacturing firms in our membership list in the zone and now about 75 of them have closed down; that represents about 50 per cent of members.

“We do not have the enabling infrastructure, power and roads to operate; the cost of moving materials from Lagos to Anambra is almost the same as the cost of importing the material from China into Nigeria.”

However, respite may be coming soon for the people of South East and South-South.BH noticed that rehabilitation work is ongoing on theOwerri-Umuahia road sections I, II and III; Arochukwu-Ohafia-Abiriba road, Ikot-Ekpene -Aba-Owerridualization project (Section 1 phase 1 currently at 28% completion), Mbaise-Ngwa Road phase 1 and 2; Oba-Nnewi-Okigwe Road section 2 and Enugu-Port Harcourt Dual Carriageway Section II.

Investigation also revealed that travelling from Benin City, the Edo State capital to Abuja, through Ekpoma, Okpella, through Okene in Kogi State has become a misfortune that many regret venturing into.

Over 80 per cent of the road has become impassable for vehicles, with worst hit being the Ekpoma axis, which has cut Benin City, (which is in Edo South Senatorial District) from Edo North Senatorial District. This is the single longest stretch of a federal road in the state.

Also begging for serious attention is the Ibillo axis of the federal road in Akoko-Edo Local Council, which share boundaries with Ondo and Kogi States.

Commuters going to Abuja from Lagos pass through this route, but the part of the road from Isua Akoko to Ikiran-Ile to Ibillo, is fast dilapidating, while between Ibillo and Lampese that links travellers to Okene, in Kogi State is completely cut off.

The journey from Isua, in Ondo State, to Okene in Kogi State, driving through Ibillo that should take less than one hour, now takes three hours, and commuters would have to first travel to Igarra, headquarters of the local council (a location that is entirely off the route) to connect several villages to Ososo, then Makeke, to avoid the completely cut off section between Ibillo and Lampese.

The situation is not different on the Benin-Auchi-Okenne road as commuters travelling from Benin City to Edo North either pass through Agbor Road in Delta State to connect parts of Edo Central, or through Ifon in Ondo State to connect Uzebba.

Another bad road is the very busy and central Zaria –Kano Expressway that links Zaria in Kaduna State to Kano. On this very busy and important road, locations like Kofa, Dakatsalle, Kwanar Dangora, Tashar Fulani and Chiromawa, are in very bad shape.

Our correspondent discovered that these areas are so bad that a trip, which ought to last for just 30 minutes, now take over two hours. Many lives have been lost in numerous accidents on the road due owing to its deplorable condition.

Commenting on the deplorable state of Nigerian roads, an FRSC official who spoke with BHon condition of anonymity, anyone who travels on these roads should know that he is taking a massive risk, as he cannot call himself safe until he arrives at his destination in one piece at the end of the treacherous journey.

© 2017, Hallmarknews. All rights reserved. Reference and link to this site is required if you wish to reuse any article.

Reactions from Facebook

comments and opinions

Leave a comment

XHTML: You can use these html tags: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <s> <strike> <strong>

Most Shared

Recent posts

  • Shippers’ council targets cost reduction at ports

    The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) says it will sign a Memorandum of Understanding with shipping companies on reducing the cost of doing business at ports to 35 per cent. The NSC Executive Secretary, Mr Hassan Bello, disclosed this in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Wednesday in Abuja. He spoke on […]

  • For the records: President Buhari’s address at the 73rd UN General Assembly (Full speech)

    STATEMENT DELIVERED BY HIS EXCELLENCY, MUHAMMADU BUHARI, PRESIDENT OF FEDERAL REPUBLIC OF NIGERIA AT THE GENERAL DEBATE OF THE 73RD SESSION OF UNITED NATIONS GENERAL ASSEMBLY IN NEW YORK, 25TH SEPTEMBER, 2018. Madam President, Fellow Heads of State and Government, Mr. Secretary-General, Distinguished Delegates, Ladies and Gentlemen, On behalf of the Government and people of […]

  • ELAN’s National Lease Conference Focuses on Stimulating Valuable Investments for Sustainable Growth

    In furtherance of its objective of promoting the business of leasing in Nigeria, Equipment Leasing Association of Nigeria (ELAN) has concluded plans to organise the 16th Annual National Lease Conference with focus on the economy. The conference is the highest gathering of stakeholders in the leasing industry and a platform for brainstorming on issues pertinent […]

  •  KIAKIAFX partners TURTLEWAX BDC on FX transfers

    KiaKiaFX, an indigenous Fintech company has signed a technical services agreement with Turtlewax BDC to promote the sale of retail Foreign Exchange (FX) where customers can exchange FX from the comfort of their homes offices via desktop, tablet or mobile device. Speaking in Lagos, the Managing Director, KiaKia FX, Abisoye Coker, said the digital platform […]

  • RMB seeks improved awareness on financial inclusion

    The Chief Operating Officer of Rand Merchant Bank Nigeria (RMB), Mr. Funso Odukoya, has called for increased awareness on issues around financial inclusion in the country. Odukoya spoke during a panel session at the 2018 Annual National Conference of the Finance Correspondents Association of Nigeria (FICAN), with the theme: “Banks, Fintechs and Nigeria’s Financial Inclusion […]

  • NDIC MD Emerges IADI Africa Regional Committee Chair

    The Managing Director and Chief Executive of the Nigeria Deposit Insurance Corporation (NDIC), Umaru Ibrahim, has been elected the new Chairperson of the Africa Regional Committee (ARC) of the International Association of Deposit Insurers (IADI). Ibrahim was elected during the Annual General Meeting (AGM) of the IADI-ARC, which was a prelude to the IADI Technical Assistance Workshop being […]

  • Full Communique of MPC Meeting


  • MPC retains interest rate at 14% for 13th consecutive times

    The Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) of the Central Bank of Nigeria on Tuesday for the retained the Monetary Policy Rate unchanged at 14 per cent for the 13th time. The CBN Governor, Mr. Godwin Emefiele, announced the decision of the committee at the end of a two-day meeting held at the apex bank’s headquarters in […]

  • 2018 budget: FG to sell 10 state-owned companies to raise funds

    The Federal Government may put up 10 state-owned companies for sale in the fourth quarter of 2018 to raise N289 billion for the funding of the 2018 budget, Joe Anichebe, a director at the Bureau of Public Entreprises (BPE), has disclosed. Anichebe said preparations are in the final stages for the sales of the companies, […]

  • FG to sell 10 public assets in Q4 2018

    The Federal Government has concluded plans to sell 10 government-owned companies for sale to selected investors and the public in the fourth quarter to raise N289 billion toward funding the 2018 budget,Bureau of Public Entreprises (BPE) has disclosed. According to Bloomberg report, preparations are in the final stages to begin the sale of the companies […]

  • Modric defeats Ronaldo, Salah to emerge FIFA’s Footballer of the Year 2018

    Real Madrid and Croatia midfielder Luka Modric has been named the Best Men’s Player at The Best FIFA Football Awards on Monday evening, fighting off competition from fellow nominees Cristiano Ronaldo and Mohamed Salah. The award caps off an incredible year for Modric, who won his fourth Champions League title with Real Madrid in May, […]

  • Nigerian bond market witnesses low demand

    A slowdown in client demand characterizes the bond market on Monday, unlike sentiments witnessed for the most part of last week. This is on the back of expected renewed supply at the bond auction on Wednesday, where the Debt Management Office (DMO) would raise a total of N90billion from the 2023, 2025 and 2028 maturities. […]

  • Oil price climbs to four-year high as Saudi, Russia turn Trump down

    Oil prices have hit a four-year high of over $81 a barrel after Saudi Arabia and Russia rejected calls by Donald Trump to increase production. Brent crude hit its highest level since November 2014 at $81.16 a barrel, up 3 per cent on the day. Saudi Arabia led the c oil cartel, while Russia is […]

  • Buhari releases N22bn to Nigerian Airways retirees

    The Federal Government has released N22.68 billion to settle part of the retirement benefits of former workers of the defunct Nigeria Airways. The government has also approved the release of N20 billion to revitalise public universities in line with demands of the Academic Staff of Universities (ASUU). Minister of Finance, Zainab Ahmed, made the disclosure […]

  • MPC set for another policy freeze

    By FELIX OLOYEDE Despite the outcry for lower domestic interest rates, the Monetary Policy Committee (MPC) is expected to leave the Monetary Policy Rate (MPR) at 14 per cent as it responds to inflation jitters ahead of the 2019 general elections, say economists. The MPC meeting schedule to hold today, Monday 24th 2018 and Tuesday […]

  • Ambode fights for his political life

    By OBINNA EZUGWU It is no longer news; the political love affair in Lagos state is in trouble. For the first time since 1999, a sitting governor is facing a real challenge from his own party for the ticket. The indignity can only be imagined and its implications continue to reverberate across the state and […]