by Chinedu Okafor
Those who find themselves trading or residing in the Alaba Suru section of Lagos Badagry expressway can count themselves among the victims of abandoned or suspended projects. These people considered themselves lucky when the project began few years back, especially with the consequent ease in the movement of people, goods and services that comes with the completion of such project. But with the present state of the project, it is better it was not started in the first place if the government do not have what it takes to complete it or do not consider it a priority.
In the case of Alaba suru, it is mostly the fly over bridges that have been abandoned. Half way into the project, constructions suddenly seized. Without a voice to speak, the direct victims of these suspension of work have accepted that this is the fate of their beloved neighbourhood. It also does not help that a huge Lagos market is located within the area.
Alaba suru spots a huge market with a variety of goods and services up for purchase. Goods ranging from clothes to chandeliers, there is hardly anything you seek you wouldn’t find in this market. Yet you would think that the government would pay close attention to a district that contributes heavily to the economy of the state, but this is not the case. Rather we can only assume that the Lagos government had deemed this place unfit for their attention, almost like they began the flyover bridge project as eye service, to distract people from just how remiss and irresponsible they are.
Work on the project has stopped with no explanation from government on why it was so and when it will continue. Lagos government has made several promises regarding construction on Lagos Badagry express road, none of which has been implemented. The current governor, Akinwunmi Ambode at the beginning of his tenure promised to complete the light rail project a year after, but now, work on the project at that end has completely stopped, and general work on the project in other section of the state is tardy with no specifics on when it will be completed.
The project was contracted to the Chinese construction giant, CCECC.
We can only hope that after the election, the next administration will continue the project and deliver on her promise.