The Worsening State of Nigeria’s Roads

Nigeria, the Giant of Africa, plays a major role in the world economy.

Nigeria is one of the most developed economies in Africa and history tells us that before the oil boom, the majority of the nationals were involved in agriculture.

Nigeria’s agricultural produce are large. They are plenty enough to be consumed in Nigeria and also exported oversees. Nigeria was indeed the pride of the Africancontinent. The money made from our agricultural export was used to put in place necessary infrastructures that bettered lives of citizens Those were days when one dollar was equal to one naira. When roads network were good. When provision of potable water was non-negotiable and education was excellent.

Those were days citizens of foreign countries came to study in our universities.

Those days our economy was top-notch as industries were scattered everywhere and employment of young graduates was not a challenge. Life was easy and corruption was at its lowest ebb.

I remember the story my parents told me of how they were well catered for at every level of schooling, especially at the secondary school level. Education was so important and valuable, hence, the government gave it all, especially funding.

Social amenities were top-notch and cases of flooding were minimal. The funds generated from agriculture helped a great deal to better the lives of Nigerians. Vices like armed robbery, juvenile delinquency, political thuggery, bribery and massive corruption were not associated with Nigerians as a people. Nigerians were known to be morally upright and hardworking. Looting of the treasury was not a popular venture, because we had good and upright leaders.

Leaders who have vision and purpose for being in leadership. Life was simply good.

Leadership wass indeed a pivotal part of a society and the driver of the greatness of any society. No society can grow past the reasoning of its leaders. That’s why most countries are where they are because of the kind of leaders they have.

Looking at our society especially at this critical period of pandemic and rainy season, you will agree with me that we have a mix of bad leaders and followers.

Why did i say this?

I urge you to take a look at our environment during this raining season. What do you see? Flood and blockage of drainage systems?

You can see that so many houses have been wrecked by flooding. Roads are damaged, properties destroyed and huge casualties in the waiting.

But who are responsible for these?

You will agree with me that it neither the President nor the Governors that litter the environment and block the drainage system with trashes, that end up causing floods that damage the roads.
Potholes are formed when the road pavement or the materials beneath the pavement are destroyed by floods.

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Nigeria in recent times, is facing most deplorable road condition almost across all states in the country.
And one cannot say less of consequences of bad roads condition .

However, a brief discussion on factors leading to deplorable roads situation in Nigeria, are avoidable.
In some cases, the geology of some areas roads are constructed, especially when professionals like geologists and civil engineers were not duly consulted before the roads are constructed, the result is often disastrous.

Many contractors fail to understand the importance of geologists when planning road construction.
But sadly, corruption, the biggest problem bedevilling the country, has blinded eyes of some responsible authorities to follow due process.

This corruption, which has indeed eaten deep into the fabrics of the society, is one major reason road contracts are been awarded to ghost contractors just to siphon and embezzle funds allocated for road repairs or construction. At other times, road contractors simply carry out skeletal work on the site and end up patching the road with adulterated coal tar. Also, some of the government officials who are supposed to monitor the awarded road projects become accomplices. They never checkmated or questioned contractors, hence, the roads go back to their dilapidated state, few weeks or months after construction.

Another factor is use of substandard construction materials. Some contractors often engage in the use of substandard and cheap materials that don’t stand the test of time. Most of these materials are not durable and don’t last. This is because they are eager to get more profit.

There is also the poor maintenance culture which has become a norm in Nigeria. Governments spend lots of money building infrastructures but right off in maintenance of the infrastructures.

For example, the Abuja National Stadium which hosted big matches after its completion and years after, the edifice became a shadow of itself.

Nigeria would record zero accidents, if roads are put in good condition. It is sad to point out here that many commuters have lost their lives because of bad roads. A taxi driver recently stated that he almost had a terrible accident that could have led to losing his life and that of other occupants because he was trying to avoid potholes scattered on the road. This has been a recurring decimal as many lives have been lost as a result of this, while some have become perpetually handicapped and incapacitated. Many also could not survive the accident to tell the stories.

Vehicles are damaged and more expenses are incurred in the repairs.

The Worsening State of Nigeria’s Roads
The Worsening State of Nigeria’s Roads

The biggest impact is indeed on the economy. The economy is indeed the worst hit as goods and services are hardly transported because of bad roads. An example is the Apapa metropolis where economic activities have declined and some companies have been forced to relocate. Humans have been forced to seek another abode elsewhere thus reducing the economic activities in that area.

Good road network can have various impacts on a community’s economic development objectives, such as productivity, employment, business activity, property values, investment and tax revenues.

In general, good road networks improve overall accessibility (i.e., they improve businesses ability to provide goods and services, and people’s ability to access education, employment and services). It also reduces transportation costs (including travel time, vehicle operating costs, and increases economic productivity and development.

In the same vein, bad roads characterized by multiple potholes impedes economic development and productivity.

For instance, an employee who is supposed to be at work by 8 am, may probably get to work around past 12, because he spent most of his productive hours on the road. Imagine the negative refect on the Nigeria economy, when over 500 employees in a particular area or region spend their productive hours on the road due to bad situation of roads in the country.

The economy will not improve when the majority of those that will do the work are not on ground to get the work done? This will, in turn, affect the overall economy of that region.

Some communities are still rural just because of the poor road network. Nobody will think of investing in an environment that is not accessible. It will be difficult, time wasting and wasteful venture. Even when perishable items are supposed to be transported to such areas for sales.

Meanwhile, I implore all readers to join hands to educate citizens and also let our leaders know that life is not easy when roads are left in bad conditions or abandonment.. They are expected to be aware of the negative economic impacts of having bad road network.

Also, citizens should endeavor not to be part of the problem.
They should desist from throwing all sorts of waste into water ways.
As good citizens, we should always do the right thing!

Olaoluwa Olajide


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