Motorists commuting between Benin-city and Lagos, as well as other adjoining states such as Delta, Rivers, and the southeast, are facing significant challenges due to the deteriorating state of the Ovia River Bridge on Benin, Ugbowo Lagos Road, and several federal roads in Edo State.
The closure of a section of the bridge for repairs has caused extensive traffic congestion, resulting in lost productivity and wasted hours on the federal road for commuters.
The recent tragedy on the Ovia River Bridge serves as a grim reminder of the urgent need for action. Just last week, a heavy-duty truck struck a passenger bus that was attempting to cross the bridge’s bad spots. Tragically, over 13 commuters, including women and children, lost their lives in the accident.
Federal Roads in Edo Fall into Disrepair
Parallel Facts investigations and on-the-spot assessments reveal that motorists endure an average of three to four hours of delays at this location daily. Despite the bridge repairs, the absence of contractors on-site raises concerns among commuters who rely on this federal road connecting the south and west regions.
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Mr. Aisosa, a concerned motorist, highlighted the pressing need for immediate remedial repairs on the road. He called upon the Edo State government to take proactive measures since federal government assistance appears to be lacking in fixing federal roads.
Regrettably, the deplorable state of federal roads in Edo State extends beyond the Ovia River Bridge. The Auchi/Benin Express road has become a death trap, leading motorists and even government officials to avoid the route and burden internal link roads in adjoining communities such as Ekpoma, Agbede, Aviele, Iruua, Iruekpen, Warrake, and Afuze.
Another critical federal road in Edo, the Benin Sapele Road, presents a similar dire situation. Over the past three years, the road has become impassable during the rainy season. Notably, this road plays a vital role in the state’s economy, connecting Benin to the oil city of Warri, Sapele, and other towns in Delta State. The road serves significant establishments such as CCETC Ossiomo Power Company Ltd., Presco Oil, hotels, and fuel stations, which contribute to the state’s tax revenue. why the government of Edo State will allow this critical road to fail under the guise that it is a federal road leaves much to be desired.
Efforts to reach the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) South South 2 Coordinator, Engr. Ben Amarube, regarding the deplorable state of federal roads in Edo State have so far proven unsuccessful, as his official lines were switched off as at the time of filing this report.