Dilapidated road, illegal checkpoints threaten businesses along Lagos-Benin corridor

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The deplorable state of the Lagos -Badagry Expressway and the existence of multiple illegal checkpoints are presently enhancing difficulties experienced by business owners, particularly bilateral trade between Nigeria and other Western African countries.

Lagos -Badagry Expressway is the major route or road leading to Nigeria’s biggest border station, which connects Nigeria to many other Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS) countries including Benin Republic, Togo, Ghana and Ivory Coast.

A recent visit by BusinessDay to the road showed that the long stretch of road is presently covered with potholes such that going from Mile 2 to Seme, which formerly took about 2 hours, now takes a minimum of 5 hours or more, thereby encouraging long man-hour loss on the road.

Also, over 21 illegal checkpoints mounted by uniformed security operatives including Police, Immigration and Customs along the route, and numerous potholes and gulley that frustrate commercial activities along the road on a daily basis, were also sighted.

The security personnel, who force motorists to part with money, issue numbers to commercial vehicles after collecting between N300 to N500 from each of the vehicles to allow them passage.

This development confirms the outcome of a survey conducted by the Task Force on ECOWAS Trade Liberalisation Scheme (ETLS) in 2018, on doing business in Nigeria, which identified collection of illegal fees by government agencies and existence of multiple checkpoints as major inhibition to a smooth trade across borders.

ETLS survey further revealed that civilians usually manage these checkpoints as the point men used in extorting and collecting ransom from drivers of trucks.

“We are really suffering loses that include both economic and health loses due to the bad state of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway. Formerly, it used to take me between 18 to 24 hours (one day) … Read More...