Tackling Road Problems In Nigeria

Road is define as a long hard surface built for vehicles to travel along. Indeed, according to prehistoric history, there were no tarred roads but bush paths. And the people of that time enjoyed the tracks as good roads then. It is obvious that with the trend of civilization and break through in science and technology in the world bush tracks or paths are no more in use especially with emergence of cars as a means of transportation.
In the world today, government of every nation strives to construct durable roads for its citizens to use. And Nigeria is not left out from such project. That is why there is ministry of works to construct and maintain the roads in the country. Roads are not meant to be constructed with perishable materials. But often times in Nigeria, we hear of poor quality materials being used to construct high ways which heavy duty vehicles ply on. No wonder our high ways and internal roads are in the state of dilapidation; because of the use of poor quality materials that are not meant for roads construction. It is an act of wickedness to play politics with road construction. Bad roads with many pot holes have caused unnecessary accident that caused many deaths in the country.
Like in the United Kingdom (UK) roads are maintained based on policy. For instance, every ten years roads are coated even when there is no pot hole and that is why it is difficult to see pot holes on their roads; because the road policy is adhered to by those in charge of implementation.
Indeed, Kudos should be given to Lubrick Construction Company. When the company started the reconstruction of Azikiwe and Station roads in Port Harcourt, the first attempt led to public outcry. And the company immediately re-strategize and came up with the best option to defy pot hole appearance on the roads. Today, Rivers people have awarded a pass mark to Lubrick Construction Company for the good construction job done.
Since Lagos/Ibadan, and Ore/Benin roads were constructed by the Federal Government there was not proper rehabilitation and even reconstruction of the roads. Roads are supposed to be pot hole free whether trunk A, or B and even the internal roads in the cities. Today because of heavy presence of pot holes on our road movement of vehicles are delayed and motorists or transporters turn their anger on the masses by making them to pay exorbitantly in terms of transport fare.
In Port Harcourt, the Port Harcourt /Aba Express Road and East-West roads which were constructed about thirty years today are begging for rehabilitation and reconstruction. There is need for good roads as to aid development in the country.
Thus, if Nigeria wants to be one of the biggest economies in the world in the next few years, the roads problems be deviling development should be addressed. The Federal road emergency management agency should sit up to handle roads that are in deplorable conditions or impassable. In deed the poor state of the roads has caused traders and marketers sleepless night as their vehicles with goods fall on daily basis on the high ways.
Yes, the Federal Government has declared that the roads will be fixed before the festive period, one wonders the magic wand that will used such onerous task. There is need for constitutional frame work to guide road construction and maintenance. The legal frame work should be jealously followed by the Ministry of Works and road construction companies in the country. Because roads well constructed add aesthetic beauty to the nation.
The construction companies should use approved international standard of bitumen and asphalt to construct roads as to avoid unwanted and unwarranted pot holes on our roads. The road net work in the country is beautiful and must be maintained. The Tele-communication companies cutting the roads to lay their cables should use durable material to cover the spot defaced. Often times they are interested in cutting the roads into two with proper covering of the spot opened. In turn, that gradually leads to heavy pot holes that threaten the movement of cars on our roads.
Indeed, if Nigeria must have durable and beautiful roads those in the project monitoring should not compromise the ethics of roads construction.
Nigerians deserve good roads no matter the geographical location. Often times, it has been said that it is difficult and expensive to construct roads in the Niger Delta region. But the truth is that real specifications are not followed. There are countries in world that have worst terrain than Niger Delta region of Nigeria and yet have the best roads in the world.
Roads problems are for all. Therefore there is every tendency for government and citizens to address road problems squarely. Our roads need total rehabilitation, or reconstruction. Nigerians must be proud of the roads in the country. The roads problems should be tackled without delay. The roads in the country speak the type of development and civilization we have. Therefore, the government at all levels should take holistic approach to tackle the teething road problems in Nigeria.

Frank Eneawaji Ogwuonuonu

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