The Lekki Dilemma
The Lekki-Ajah axis is considered the fastest developing area in Africa, so it comes as no surprise that the area is becoming more populated day by day, with businesses, schools, religious institutions, malls and many other attractions, and that goes without mentioning the gold mine in the form of Real Estate in the area.
Ever since Maroko was destroyed by the Lagos state military government led by Raji Rasaki, it wouldn’t have taken a soothsayer to know that rapid development would take place in the area because the potential was glaring, yet the area suffers from poor planning. You realize that most of the problems faced on this axis are some that could have been easily avoided. For the sake of this article, I’m going to focus on the flooding and traffic issues.
I remember earlier this year, when the rains came in full force and the weakness of the drainage network was held on display for the world to the see, turning the republic to the butt of a very embarrassing joke. Houses flooded, cars spoilt, movement obstructed, and at some point, videos of people either swimming or kayaking on the street surfaced. I found it sad that an area said to have some of the most expensive real estate on the continent would have something as inconsequential as drainage as an issue, which is meant to have been taken care of in the planning/design phase. The most heart-breaking thing about this experience is that nothing has been done about the drainage, everybody just has their fingers crossed that heavy rain wouldn’t fall again, which makes you wonder how we would survive something as epic as a natural disaster.
Now let’s talk about traffic, as you’re reading this, I’m sure you’re constantly a victim of this pandemic. The most annoying thing about living in Lagos is how the most easily avoidable things cause hours of meaningless traffic. Apart from the occasional accident or other unavoidable road hazards, it is usually something silly; either a bad road, the random act of an idiot behind the steering wheel, or the most mind blowing of all, rain. I’m going to take the Lekki-Epe Expressway as a point of study; peculiar to most of us living in the republic, it provides access to the entire Lekki-Ajah axis. Seen as one of the busiest routes in Lagos, it was previously home to some of the worst traffic in the city. Due to the traffic it was conceived that places like VGC, AJAH, Abraham Adesanya and others, were impossible to visit and some go as far as not acknowledging them as part of Lagos (although jokingly), forgetting that Lagos is the smallest state in the country, meaning that no place should be “far”.
As much as we praise the government for replacing the roundabouts with traffic lights to ease the traffic, we forget that it was they that put up roundabouts as a traffic solution in the first place, why they made them so big is beyond me, but it is obvious that they have a recurring habit of making temporary solutions to problems. Using statistics, in a couple of years these so called “solutions” of putting traffic lights will become obsolete, because the population will keep increasing rapidly, and as usual, the government would soon start running around looking for a new temporary solution.
I could go on and on about all the problems we face but I feel I will soon start boring you. Apologies for the ranting, they are just thoughts of a concerned citizens in the form of food for thought.
Feel free to share your own rants in the comment section