The abandoned road
For residents of Beesam in Mafoluku area of Oshodi, Lagos State, the birth pains of development is taking longer than necessary and they are in a dilemma over a protracted road rehabilitation in the area.
Lives of the aggrieved residents have been severely disrupted after the contractor handling the Beesam Road in Ewutuntun Mafoluku, Jumbol Engineering Limited, dug up the drainage, dumped heaps of sand on the street and abandoned the project since February.
To heighten the pain of residents, the road is the only artery into Ewutuntun and onward to Oshodi and environs. The blockage has prevented car owners from accessing their residence, forcing them to park their vehicles miles away from home.
Sadly, it has also paralyzed business activities in the area since February. Most hit are the small and medium scale entrepreneurs and business owners, who are suffering the lull in commercial activities in the area. When it rains, Beesam Road is a no-go area, even for pedestrians.
When The Guardian visited the area, some of the residents called on the Lagos State government to re-award the contract to an experienced contractor to handle the road project.
It was discovered that signposts, billboards and even electric poles in the street were destroyed and abandoned, cutting off the community from the electricity. There is no provision for people to run their businesses as shop owners, hotel operators and petty traders have all closed shop.
The Executive Chairman of Beesam Hotels, Chief Sam Beecorf, stated that since the project started, no single customer has patronised him because of the restriction of vehicles to the street.
He said: “Beesam Hotel has been here for 44 years, and we have never seen something like this before. This contract started on February 1, 2016, they started digging up sand and dumped it on the road and abandoned it. Since February till date, there has been no single customer in my hotel and all the businesses in this area are completely locked down.
“This road is the main entry from the Murtala Muhammed International Airport that leads into Mafoluku and Oshodi. Everybody comes in through here, even the airlines operators and those coming from Victoria Island, Ikoyi and other areas, who are trying to avoid the traffic at Maryland in Ikeja.
“Government must have awarded this project to alleviate people’s suffering but it was given to an incompetent contractor. We are disappointed salaries are not been paid because companies are not making profits anymore. I spoke with the Site Engineer sometimes ago, he promised to do something to make the road passable, but since then nothing has been done.”
One of the project workers, who gave his name as Ibrahim Ajayi, said they are having challenges with their equipment. He said they work day and night but their equipment always develop fault.
“The heap of the sand is also giving us headache. Man proposes and God disposes. Our machines always disappoint us. People should be patient with us. When there is road rehabilitation, it must cause inconveniences to people but we promise very soon their suffering would be over,” he stated.