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2018 In Retrospect: These Are News That Shook The Auto Airwaves

In a few days from now, 2018 will be gone for good. 2018 has been a year with various trends, a year of clapbacks, a year of various works by the states and Federal Government, a year where the mighty are defeated, a year of a political upturn, a year where the mighty are caged, a year of massive infrastructure for some states, a year where some projects were completed, some cancelled, and may were postponed.

We in AutoReportNG decided to do a throwback to major stories that are worth remembering those we cannot forget in a hurry.

1. Otedola Fire Bridge

Just like any other day in the city of Lagos, the day looks quite promising for all road users until it gets to evening time when the news starts filtering in that there was a massive inferno at the popular Otedola bridge in Lagos. According to reports, Tragedy struck on Thursday at the Otedola Bridge, Lagos end of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, after a petrol-laden tanker crashed and exploded.

No fewer than 54 cars and commercial vehicles driving behind the tanker on the road were said to have been gutted by fire, during which nine people were reportedly killed. According to an eyewitness, “There was traffic and when it cleared a little, the bus driver manoeuvred his way to the front. We were about a few vehicles away from the tanker when we heard the sound of an explosion.

“The fuel from the tanker spilled on the expressway and all the vehicles at its back went up in flames. People ran for dear life. There was confusion everywhere.” Indeed, it was a black Thursday for Nigeria and for Lagos state that day.

2. The Postponement of Lagos Light Railway

Hopes were high early in the year, there was excitement among many stakeholders, road users, and some members of the public that the long-awaited Lagos Metro Railway will be completed before the ending of the year, but alas, the reverse is the case. According to the Lagos State Government, has announced that its light rail project running between Mile 2 and Marina will now commence passenger operation in 2022.

According to the government, "After a comprehensive review of the project, it had approved a roadmap proposed by its consultants to complete the civil infrastructure as well as the operation and maintenance infrastructure needed for the commencement of passenger operation in 2022. So, for those waiting, you may have to wait for more.

3. The Construction of the Lagos-Ibadan Railway

If there is anything exciting with a ray of hope, it is the Lagos-Ibadan Railway. The project which was facilitated by the Federal Government and funded by the Chinese Government seems to be unstoppable, this may likely be the first time a project like this will run without hippcups and stories that we are used to. The railway is said to run within 3 states which are Lagos, Oyo and Ogun States. The railway will be a major relief to road users as people living in Ibadan, Abeokuta can live in their various houses in their states and still work in Lagos. The estimated time from Lagos to Ibadan is said to be within 40-50mins maximum. The work is ongoing and it is going stronger each day.

4. The Commission and Dismantling of The Ikeja BRT Terminal

In March 2018, the city of Lagos was agog for the commission of the Ikeja BRT Terminus which was said to be a world-class terminus. The terminal was constructed by Planet Projects, an indigenous firm in Lagos, Nigeria. The terminus was commisioned by Pres. Buhari in glitz and glamour that Lagos is known for! We are however surprised that after 6 months of commissioned that not even a bus has taken off from this park despite seeing some new buses from this park, our fears seem now confirmed when in October we start seeing some pictures flying about that the place has been dismantled and up for renovation. We can't but ask, why renovate what you have not used before?

5. Massive Road Projects Across Nigeria

Even though we tried to be apolitical in our reportage at AutoReportNG.com but there are various times we can't be made mention of some government works. Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola, the minister for power, works and housing has been a busy man no doubt, he has been moving from states to states, from locality to localities to inspect the massive works going on across the country. According to Mr. Fashola, there is no state that has not been touched with at least 2 federal government projects in each state, every state in Nigeria has been worked even though there is more to be done but we are trying to take them as they come.

6. Lagos Roads and Dirts

One of the major topics that trended on the social media virtually daily is Lagos roads and dirts everywhere. From Ikoyi to VI to Abule Egba, everywhere in Lagos stinks! The company in charge in making Lagos clean, The VisionScape company is helpless as the city is in a total mess with heaps of refuse everywhere you go. Moving away from that is the state of bad roads across the state, it became worse when the 3rd Mainland Bridge was closed for Investigation Repair Works. Lagosians have to go through hell in order to maneuver their ways through the bad roads and also it became clear that if not for 3rd Mainland bridge, virtually all roads in Lagos are death traps all thanks to the potholes in the city.

7. Lagos-Ibadan Expressway Postponed, Yet Again

According to The Punch, It is disgraceful that the deadline for the completion of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway has been shifted to 2021. Work resumed this year, but Julius Berger, the contractor handling the Lagos-Sagamu intersection end of the highway, has now dashed any hope of its completion anytime soon. Citing lack of funding and additional designs, it stated that the December 2019 completion date was no longer feasible. This is a severe blow. It betrays a spectacular lack of understanding on the dynamics that underpin a country’s socio-economic development by the Muhammadu Buhari administration.

Being Nigeria’s most notable road asset, the news of the postponement for another three years is devastating for the users. With a vehicular traffic of 25,000 per hour, the Federal Road Safety Commission says it is the busiest highway in the country. Ordinarily, this pivotal element ought to have compelled the Federal Government to expedite action on its reconstruction. That it did not, portrays the government as bewildered and unable to get its priorities right.

8. Abandoned Projects aftermath of Gov. Ambode's Loss of Primary's Election

It is no news that the Lagos State Gov., Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode lost out in the state primary elections to his closest rival, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu. Ever since he lost, there has been a series of abandoned and uncompleted projects across the state, for example, the BRT terminus except for The Oshodi Terminus which is on-going but at a very slow pace unlike when the energy was massive early in the year. A visit to Oyigbo BRT Terminus which is almost completed and its at 85% stage shows its under lock and key with no one on site, not even the engineers, same goes to the Yaba BRT terminus too, it was so bad in Yaba that even the canopy that was mounted was left unattended to and the workers have evacuated the site, hardly will you find a worker or two in this site, even the security man is idle. A visit to other locations like Ojuelegba and Obalende where the beautification of the under bridge was on-going has been abandoned and the weeds have taken over the place, Obalende, for example, is fast become an eyesore as the area boys have turned the place to a smoking joint where they smoke and meet at evening and at some case, they sleep on the grasses. How we wish that Gov. Ambode can finish up these innovations that he started and put them into use before the handover.

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