Southwest Nigeria, like much of the country, is grappling with the dire state of its roads. The condition of the road infrastructure in the region has reached a point of national concern. From Ilesa – Ijebu-Jesa – Ado-Ekiti Road to Lagos – Abeokuta Road, and from Lagos – Badagry Road to Gbongan – Osogbo – Ilorin Road, the Southwest finds itself in a sorry state when it comes to its road network.
It is a matter of both construction and maintenance. The roads in the region, which was once the pride of Nigeria, have deteriorated to such an extent that they can be best described as appallingly impassable. The consequences of this road crisis are far-reaching, affecting not only the movement of goods and services but also the overall standard of living. Economic activity is stifled when the roads are in shambles, and the energy sector, a crucial driver of growth, is hindered by power outages.
The situation is exacerbated by the sorry state of Nigeria’s waterways, which could have served as an alternative means of transportation. These water routes are now polluted, further limiting the options for the movement of goods and people.
It’s a stark contrast to a time when contracts awarded to foreign firms, particularly the Germans, inspired confidence in the quality of infrastructure they would deliver. However, today, the concern isn’t just about who is in power but whether the quality of work and the vision behind these projects meet the standards that Nigeria and its people deserve.
Decades have passed, and Nigeria’s road network still lacks the vision it needs. Roads like Ibadan – Ogbomoso – Ilorin Road and Ibadan – Ile-Ife – Akure Road have remained under construction for far too long, highlighting a lack of concrete vision for development.
The reference to “Awo Roads” and “Bisi Akande Roads” in the region underscores a lack of progress. While elsewhere in the world, people are discussing 14-lane highways, the Southwest often contends with single-lane roads in disrepair. It begs the question: when will Nigeria truly develop, and where is the nation heading with its current road infrastructure?
Nigeria’s inability to maintain its existing roads is a matter of national shame. The decay in governance and the lack of vision have led the country into this crisis. It’s time for a change in perspective. Contractors should not seek higher pay in Nigeria for the wrong reasons. Higher pay should not be about inflating leisure but about improving the quality of work. Changing this mindset is essential for any meaningful transformation.
Concrete knowledge and a shift in perspective are required to lift Nigeria from the mud it finds itself in. Reimagining and recalibrating the roads in the Southwest is a fundamental step towards progress. It’s time for visionary leadership to redesign and modernize the road infrastructure. Development in the Southwest must continue, as the alternative is stagnation, a luxury that no society can afford.
In conclusion, the dire state of Southwest Nigeria’s roads presents a pressing challenge that cannot be ignored. The recent Supreme Court verdict has laid to rest the political uncertainties, and it’s now the responsibility of leaders, particularly those like President Bola Tinubu, to take action. The people of Nigeria have fought for change, and it is incumbent upon their leaders to address the pressing issue of road infrastructure. The hope for a better future lies in persistent efforts, and it is through determination and continued pressure that Nigeria may see the change it so desperately needs.
As we face these challenges, let us hope for peace and progress in Nigeria, guided by the belief that even when we least expect it, change can happen.