Lagos is easily the most popular state in Nigeria, and she never gets dull. Many people who are in search of a location where they can set up a business chose to stay in Lagos because of the population which equals a huge market. Just like they say, there is a disadvantage to everything and for Lagos, it is the traffic situation. It is a shocking fact that one can set out to reach a short destination within Lagos only to spend the rest of their day in traffic 10 km long.
Lagos has some of the worst traffic in the world
Over the years, this is one problem that every successive governor in Lagos tried to resolve but seemed to fail totally. Year after year, exceptional laws, rules and regulations are made to solve this very problem yet those rules are practiced for few weeks or months only to be dumped by the public since there is no strict enforcement of these laws.
1) Commercial motorcycles - notorious Okada
Popular known as ‘Okada’. This mode of transportation is not only practiced in Lagos but also in other states across Nigeria, and now it seems, across the border in Ghana also. At first, these riders seemed to aid the congestion issue by taking folks to destinations speedily. It also kept thousands employed. However the rising spate of crimes committed using motorbikes such as bag snatching, or phones and valuable items from passers-by has placed a question mark against Okada as a truly beneficial phenomenon. Apart from this, the number of accidents and road congestion caused by Okada riders seems to be on the increase.
In 2012, during the tenure of Babatunde Raji Fashola, Lagos state banned Okada from operating in 475 roads in the metropolis. Today however, that rule is not highly effective, and the menace of Okada is back full force.
Okada riders have been a menace on roads for a long time
2) Use of helmet
Regulation on using a helmet for Okada riders and their passengers was enforced by the Babatunde Raji Fashola administration in 2008 to rotect riders and pasengers alike. Unfortunately this law died a quick death like many other road legislation. The government a the time even provided helmets for riders and made it state policy for those helmets to be used b every motorcyclist in Lagos. Today, o Eko, where are your helmets?
The helmet law are only sporadically observed now
3) Unregistered taxis
The infamous Lagos transport buses or cars are known for their yellow color because such vehicles are all registered under the state government. There are however some unregistered and unmarked taxis known as “Kabu kabu” that pick passengers at random. Some passengers who patronize these reach their destinations safely while some unfortunately go missing. For security reasons, the past governor had tried to enforce the regulation on unregistered taxis picking up passengers, but that law is not really obeyed currently.
Kabu Kabu are unregistered vehicles that can be dangerous
4) Ban on Agberos
The activities of road unions like NURTW, RTREAN, LAMATA and others have been a major concern to the residents of Lagos. Most of these unions harbor thugs and have undoubtedly caused much mayhem in Lagos state. These include traffic snarl-ups, fights and general disturbances. In 2012, the former state governor, Fashola tried to restrict their activities on the roads, parks and bus stops, but it all didn't turn out efficiently.
Area boys are really a great menace in Lagos and cause traffic build up
5) Different lanes or commercial buses
Due to constant road congestion that leads to massive traffic jams, separate designated lanes were created for commercial vehicles aka ‘danfo’. This law seemed to be taken seriously for a short while. As time has passed, it seems this law was never made as Danfos swarm the main lane as usual.
Buses do not stick to dedicated lanes causing heavy traffic
6) Road/Street trading
Many Lagos residents have resorted to living off the street through hawking or trading to earn a living. Many chose to sell different commodities on the road just to meet ends means. Over the years, the population of road hawkers seems to be on the increase and contributes to heavy traffic, high crime rate and deaths of hawkers on the road. On trying to resolve this issue, in 2016, the present governor Ambode tried to put a restriction on road hawkers and street hawkers. Signs that boldly read ‘no-hawkers’ were placed on the roads. Today the signs are ignored though they were obeyed for a little time.
Hawkers also cause traffic jams
We all need to cooperate with government to make Lagos traffic free and safe.