Adeleye Ajayi, Chairman, Lagos State Council, Nigerian Union of Journalists (NUJ), has commended the Federal Government on the free flow of traffic on the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway as a result of the highway’s temporary re-opening.
In an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) on Friday, Ajayi joined some other road users in applauding the authorities for the improved traffic flow on the highway.
According to NAN, the Federal Ministry of Works reopened closed lanes on Section one of the highway, which runs from Ojota in Lagos to the Sagamu Interchange, to traffic on Monday, two days ahead of schedule.
The re-opening, which included the removal of barriers that had been used to narrow lanes in the area, came after the suspension of reconstruction work on the expressway’s OPIC axis until January to ease traffic flow during the holiday season.
“I drove through the highway this morning and the road was free. Even the usual gridlock on the Long Bridge has disappeared,” Ajayi said.
He thanked President Muhammadu Buhari, Minister of Works and Housing Babatunde Fashola, and his engineers for being sensitive to Nigerians’ plight and reopening the highway to accommodate Yuletide travels.
People had harrowing experiences on the highway in the past due to man-hour losses, he said, but the current reality of seamless movement was good and should be maintained.
Ajayi urged the FG to take advantage of the dry season in order to complete the highway by March 2023, ahead of the April rains.
Anayo Valentine, a commercial bus driver who operates on the Ojodu Berger to Magboro axis, told NAN that before the highway was reopened to traffic, transporters charged N500.00 or more for the short journey due to the gridlock.
“Because of the hold-up we used to calculate our time and fuel, that was why we charged high fares but now it is different,” he said.
Gloria Faisal, a resident of Sparklight Estate, Arepo, told NAN that the re-opening had given her the courage to drive on the highway again.
Faisal said she stopped driving on the highway for over 10 months because of the congestion and confusion caused by gridlock due to construction works and reckless driving.
“I resorted to taking commercial motorcycles and vehicles when I could not cope. One day I spent seven hours in traffic, it was easier because I was not the one driving, but now I am happy, as you can see, I am driving myself,” she said.
Malam Abdullahi Inuwa, a fruit trader in Mowe, said the free flow was benefiting businesses and that he could now freely move between markets in Lagos and Ogun to restock.
Other commuters who spoke with NAN thanked President Buhari, Fashola, and his team, and requested that the project be completed on time due to the high traffic volume on the axis.