Motorists and commuters plying Gwagwalada-Lokoja Expressway have lamented the constant gridlock due to the ongoing construction and parking of articulate vehicles on the road.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that motorists heading toward Lokoja and those from Zuba spend several hours in the gridlock from Gwagwalada Bridge to Kuje junction following the narrowing of the road.
NAN observed that the incessant breakdown of heavy-duty vehicles and parking on the narrow road prevents smooth driving causing heavy traffic for several hours on the road.
However, some motorists and commuters, who spoke with NAN in separate interviews, urged the law enforcement agents to be strict in arresting drivers fond of violating traffic rules on the road.
A truck driver, Salisu Mohammed, said majority of the trucks were old and not used to slow movements thereby breaking down during traffic gridlocks.
Mohammed, however, called on the government to create alternative roads in and out of FCT to ease vehicular movements in the area.
Mr Abila Luka, a motorist said, “it is now a regular occurrence to be held up in traffic whenever I am travelling through this axis and I end up not getting to my destination on time.
“We know that construction is ongoing but the slow pace of work by the contractors has made life difficult for people plying the area, especially when coming back from work in the evenings,” he lamented.
A commercial driver, Jude Stanley, however, blamed the regular gridlock on indiscipline drivers fond of taking “one-way” or going against the traffic.
“I think with patience, the gridlock will ease, but most drivers plying the road are just not patient enough and most times, drive against traffic.
“Long hours are spent on the road every day but I have made up my mind not to drive against traffic regardless of the gridlock.
“Also, the contractors should also hasten up the construction on the road to allow easy vehicular movements and reduce the suffering faced by motorists,” he said.
Alhaji Hassan Abdulyakeen, the Gwagwalada Unit Coordinator of the Special Marshal, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) said the personnel were always on their toes to ensure compliance with traffic rules in the gridlock.
He said the company was very slow on the project and at times they blocked the second lane and would not to work for a day or two thereby causing more hardship for motorists.
However, Abdulyakeen, called on the Federal Government to adequately pay the contractors handling the road project to enable them hasten up the road project.
He said the personnel were always on ground together with other security personnel from SPD Junction to Government Science Secondary School Junction to ensure easy vehicular movements.
“The essence of our presence is to also caution motorists on the dangers of reckless driving and the need to obey road traffic rules and regulations.
“We also urge all motorists to adhere strictly to traffic rules and avoid beating the traffic lights for their safety.
“We advise all motorists to obey the guidelines; use and maintain good tyres and ensure that their tyres are properly gauged to prevent road crashes.
Abdulyakeen also advised motorists to ensure that they fixed good wipers and stayed away from the danger of using expired tyres to avoid crashes during this rainy season.
NAN reports that the Nigerian Shippers’ Council said at the forum recently that plans were on the way to establish trucks villages to discourage parking of trucks along highways.
The Executive Secretary of the Council, Mr Hassan Bello said that there was the need for the council to create truck sites as parking them along highways constituted a nuisance in the environment.
“We want to take the trucks off highways; if you traveled by road you will see them congregated in many places causing a nuisance in the environment.
“So we want to establish trucks villages, already there are many sites in Lokoja.
“Also in Kaduna, the government has already established its own trucks site,’’ he said.
The executive secretary, therefore, encouraged both private and government sectors to identify with the council to create more truck villages nationwide.