Road is a critical infrastructure needed in every state to spike up development. As important as it is, it is disappointing to say that it remains one of the greatest challenges of governments especially those of the South East. From year to year we have grappled with the challenges of bad roads and it takes a heavy toll on businesses and human lives. There is no end to the lamentations of the pains caused by bad roads.
What is quite disturbing is that we are aware of these problems but what is lacking is the ability of the various governments, state and federal to deal decisively on this issue. Value of human lives cannot be quantified by anybody. No human can create life. We have continually exposed our lives to the dangers of bad roads and precious lives have been lost in good numbers through various road accidents.
Experience has shown that the roads get worse during the rains but in the dry weather when opportunities abound to fix them we do little or pay mere lip service only by barely scratching the surface in the name of grading. These palliative measures hardly provide any support for the rains on arrival remind us that we have only wasted effort in the interim measure. The consequences of bad roads are quite numerous to recount.
Bad roads delay movement of goods and people and results in losses to profits. Aside, some trucks conveying goods fall on the roads and create terrible losses to traders. Last Monday, an eye witness account stated that five different trucks fell on the Aba-Owerri road, some blocking roads and some have their contents spilled to the roads. The traffic congestion that results from incidents of this nature are better imagined than told.
The connecting inter-state roads popularly called federal roads in the South East have been begging for attention as they are left in ruins. This has great negative impact on the economy of the South East where a greater population of the people is neck deep in business. The total neglect of these roads is part of the reason the people in the region have accused the federal government of marginalization. Roads in other regions less in importance to roads in the region are fixed in preference by the federal government.
News Echo wishes to advise the governors within the region to cease focusing only on the federal government to fix their roads. The abandonment of that duty is telling on the inhabitants of the area and not on those far removed whose responsibility it is. It would be recalled that Rt Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi while he served as the governor of Rivers State deployed the state resources to fix some federal roads in Rivers State.
The various claims on that road amounting to over N75bn were recently refunded to the RVSG and further boosting their revenue base to do more development projects. Amaechi understood the importance of the road connecting the airport and wasted no time in giving it the desired attention. The South East governors should explore this opportunity.
The roads in the Akwa Ibom and Cross River States are reportedly one of the bests in the South of Nigeria. Even without rating as high the South East in terms of business flow the governors of these two states even in past administrations appreciated the importance of good roads and delivered on it. The frequent patching up of roads in the South East region amounts to wastage of scarce resources because the roads are washed away at the slightest confrontation by rain.
We cannot lament enough the dangers of bad roads and how negatively it impacts the people. We cannot deny that lives have been lost because of inability to move people swiftly from one point to another in search of health care. We challenge the various governments to do a thorough analysis of the situation and draw a road map towards restoring the roads. It would be revealed that they are losing so much than they are gaining.
It is very clear that the various governments have remained negligent on this road issue because the devastation did not just happen suddenlyin one fell swoop. It has never been so bad.