On Lagos Flooding and the Traffic Crisis



The concomitant adverse effects include a colossal waste of productive time, loss of money to vehicle repairs and inability to meet up with commitments – both private and business-related amongst other inconveniences ...

These are not the best of times for Lagosians and for very obvious reasons. The level of utter discomfort that commuters in Lagos have had to deal with in transit these past few months is overwhelming. Journeys that should typically take minutes are now guaranteed to take hours - only a matter of how many.


The issue of flooding is becoming the single most disturbing menace in Lagos. With every torrential rainfall, productivity is drastically reduced. The concomitant adverse effects include a colossal waste of productive time, loss of money to vehicle repairs and inability to meet up with commitments – both private and business-related amongst other inconveniences that the gridlock causes.


This situation is not helped by the abysmal state of roads generally across the state. There is hardly any stretch of road without a pothole; further made worse by the blocked drainages leaving the water no choice but to cause an entire mess on the road. This cannot continue as we are witnessing a gradual if not complete degeneration of our road infrastructure. The pressure on our roads calls for concern but the unfortunate twist is that Lagosians are not left with so many viable options although there are a few positives. Just recently, the government announced the commencement of a ferry service by a popular taxi service on our waterways. The use of motorbike service is also on the increase; anything just to avoid the horror of what can now be best described as ‘Traffic Crisis’ in Lagos.


The government is aware of this menace. The governor had given assurances that the situation of things would be better as soon as the rainy season is gone. But who knows when that would be? The current situation with the climate is unprecedented in the history of the world. The world as we know it is fast-changing and we must be prepared for these changes.


We would need to declare a state of emergency on public infrastructure in Lagos. We need to confront this crisis dutifully with a permanent solution in mind. Responsibility to turn the tide of things rests on the shoulders of the government and the citizens. A complete rehabilitation of major and connecting roads across the state must be the Number-1 priority of both state and local governments at this time. In the past few days, there has been some commendable development in this regard. The Lagos State Public Works Corporation (LSPWC) has also announced a roll-out plan for fixing some roads.


Clearing the drainages must also be done effectively to allow a free flow of water. In a similar vein, the citizens must be discouraged from littering undesignated areas with garbage while stricter measures are put in place to enforce this. Traffic officers should also be more responsible for managing the flow of traffic than unnecessarily intimidating private vehicle owners. Additionally, the street lights should come back on to light up Lagos at night.


We would continually hold the government accountable to its promise of working ‘for a greater Lagos’. I wish the government the best of luck.

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© 2020 Samuel Akinnuga.