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Worsening state of Lagos-Badagry Expressway has started affecting business activities at the Lagos International trade Fair complex along the international highway.
Recall that the complex houses over 12 trading groups, making it the largest commercial centre across the continent. Some of the major trading groups include Auto Spare parts and Machinery Dealers’ Association (ASPMDA), Balogun Business Association (BBA), Association of Progressive Traders (APT), Mandilas Trading group, Tools and Hardware Dealers Association, Keke and Okada Spare parts Dealers, Africa Tyre Village (ATV), Swiss Park, C-Tempo Group of merchandise, and others.
However, the current state of the highway has caused damages to shopping and trading activities since the contractor handling the expansion of international road suspended works before the general elections.
In an interview, the president of Auto Spare parts & Machinery Dealers’ Association (ASPMDA) and chairman, Trade Fair Stakeholders Forum (TFSF), Chief Daniel Offorkansi, decried the sorry state of Lagos-Badagry Expressway, revealing that businesses in the complex loose average of N1bn on a daily basis.
Addressing a press conference in his office, he cried out to the Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu to come to the aid of traders and residents along the highway with filling palliatives.
He said “There are five worst portions on the highway which include Alakija, Under Bridge, Ojo Barracks, Volks and Iyanoba bus stops. These five points are the most difficult points on the road that need palliatives”.
On the daily average losses incurred by traders, Offorkansi said “Businesses at the Trade fair complex lose as high as N1bn daily. Not less than four imported containers with goods fall along the road to the complex daily. That is loss. For the past two months when the road become worst, we have not less than 50 heavily loaded trailers carrying goods to other West African countries, but they are still in the complex for fear of falling either at the Under Bridge, Ojo Barracks, Volks or Iyanoba bus stops”.
“These are people’s money tied down inside loaded trailers for months due to bad road. Besides, many loaded trucks with good worth millions of naira that are going to Northern Nigeria, East and South are all stranded at the complex because there is no road to drive after leaving the complex.
“The worst in the last couple of months is that our customers will come to buy goods, but cannot leave with their goods due to fear of falling along the road.
“Besides, our traders hardly come to market with their vehicles because there is no access from Alakija, under the bridge, Ojo Barracks and Volks. This is why we are calling on the governor for immediate palliatives at least to save the hopeless situation now at the trade fair.
Offorkansi recalled that “When our Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu was campaigning, I recall that he even contributed stones which was used as palliatives on the road. We humbly call him again to please do the same even as he makes efforts to recall the contractor to site”.
He also noted that due to bad road, traders at the complex now close for the day’s business as early as 3pm so as to trek home without being molested by criminals, noting that many traders had lost their valuables including handsets, money, bags and even their lives to criminals using the bad road to perpetuate evil on the highway in the evenings.
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