ROAD USERS GROAN AS IBADAN-IFE ROAD BECOMES DEATH TRAP!
Hundreds of people using the Ibadan-Ife road have decried the excruciating experience they have had to endure on the highway as the contractor handling its rehabilitation has abandoned the job.
Loss of lives as well as maiming of people and vehicles involved in avoidable accidents and robbery cases are daily being recorded on the road.
The highway located between Oyo and Osun states, is also used by motorists, especially luxury bus drivers, from Lagos heading for the North.
Although investigation showed that the contractor, A&B Construction Company, did some remedial work sometime ago on the road under the supervision of the Federal Road Maintenance Agency, the firm reportedly abandoned the job and the road had become bad again.
Some of the drivers who spoke with our correspondent at the Iwo-Road Motor Park in Ibadan said only those who had no alternative routes were forced to use the road and they had to spend agonising hours during the journey.
They therefore appealed to the Federal Government to save them from the untold hardships they experienced almost on daily basis as a result of the poor state of the road.
Ismail Jabar, who said he plied the Ibadan-Ife road with his commercial bus every day, said, “I have been plying the route for the past eight years. I was using Lagos-Ibadan route before but the constant gridlock on the road made me shift to the Ibadan-Ife road. The road is bad and risky even during the day. There are records of head-on collision involving vehicles coming from opposite directions because we take one-way all the time.
“When we noticed that work had started on the rehabilitation of the road, we jumped up for joy but it was short-lived. No appreciable progress has been recorded since then. It seems the government has abandoned the road and they are insensitive to the plights of those who use the road.”
Another driver who plies the road regularly, Adesina Olaoluwa, told our correspondent that several lives had been lost on the road due to frequent accidents. He said he was lucky to be alive after his car was involved in an accident in November 2016.
“I was coming from Osun State with Lagos-bound passengers. We left early so there was no need for speeding. A Macopolo bus that took one-way suddenly faced my car, giving me no option but to veer into the bush. We were lucky that there was no ditch there; so we escaped with our lives but the car was badly damaged.
“Government should do something about it. Nigerians deserved better than what they are getting from this government.”
The Oyo State office of the Federal Road Management Agency said the portion of the road under rehabilitation was not under its jurisdiction.
An official of the FERMA in the state, who did not give his name because he was not authorised to speak on behalf of the agency, said, “The rehabilitation work you are talking about does not involve Oyo State office. It is within Osun State coverage. Our jurisdiction on that stretch of the road stops at Asejire and the job you are talking about starts somewhere after Asejire into Osun State.”
An official of the Osun State office of FERMA, who also spoke to our correspondent on condition of anonymity, confirmed that A&B Construction Company was working with the state office of FERMA on the rehabilitation of the road.
Asked how much was budgeted for the job and how much had been paid, the official said the actual amount could only be confirmed by Abuja office of FERMA. He however said that the amount could be around N100m.
He said that the contractor had not been fully mobilised and that work could only continue when the Federal Government had committed more funds to the project for its completion.
He said, “Contracts documents stipulate terms of work and payment. It could be true that the contractor did about 100 metres and patched the rest to make the road passable for now if that is what the contract agreement says. But the fact is that the company laid asphalt on about 200 meters of the road towards Ife.”
– Copyright PUNCH.