Shameful five minutes to Nigeria’s international airport

A section of Lagos Airport Road

A section of Lagos Airport Road

By Tope Templer Olaiya, Assistant Lagos City Editor
When on July 16, 2013, Dickson Lee, a Briton arrived in Nigeria via the Murtala Mohammed International Airport for the first time to take up an employment with an oil firm, he was prepared for the culture shock that would assault his eyes and mind, but what he never prepared for was his forceful abduction for five days by armed men on the international gateway’s road by Mafoluku.
Although his kidnappers were waiting for any prey, Lee immediately became an instant target once the black Sportage SUV he was in was spotted. But the kidnap was easy for Lee’s abductors due to deplorable state of the road, particularly before Junction bus stop. At the spot, the three-lane road has been collapsed to one, with more than half of the section waterlogged and riddled with car-wrecking potholes.
But if the Briton’s kidnap did not draw concerned authorities’ attention to the five minutes of shame that is Murtala Mohammed International Airport Road, the downpour days after the incident, which has left a sour taste in the mouth of motorists and commuters, and exposed the ineptitude of government, has made it one of the most dreaded roads in Lagos, especially at night.
LAG 4

Weeks after a banquet was held at Aso Rock, the seat of government in Abuja to unveil a new tourism brand identity tagged Fascinating Nigeria, there is absolutely nothing fascinating about the nation’s window to the world, the first five minutes from the Lagos international airport.
To anyone visiting Nigeria, either for the first time or as a returnee, coming in through the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Lagos is the top choice ahead of Abuja and Port-Harcourt. Whether going to a five-star hotel in Ikoyi or wherever in Lagos metropolis, you can’t avoid passing through this eyesore of a road.
LAG 5

This is definitely not how other countries in Europe, the Americas, the Caribbean and Africa welcome visitors. The road to and from Nigeria’s busiest international airport, accounting for more than half of her foreign flights and the first point of contact with the country’s road infrastructure by any visitor, is reflective of the shamelessness of the country’s leaders and their lack of pride in the Nigeria Project.
This is more disturbing when one draws a parallel with one’s home. No matter how unpleasant, dirty, poor or untidy one’s home might be, for most people with any self-worth, the sitting room or “parlour”, which visitors and guests see, is usually tidied up, arranged pristinely and presented nicely to give a good impression. This is notwithstanding the state of the rest of the house.
Successive governments have lost all sense of shame that they cannot see the eyesore that this stretch of less than five kilometres of road has become. Airport roads, in even the very poor countries, are well tarred, pothole-free, lined with trees and well lit with functional streetlamps. The Lagos airport road is anything but all of the above.

THE DIFFERENCE IS CLEAR: Jomo Kenyatta International airport road, Kenya

THE DIFFERENCE IS CLEAR: Jomo Kenyatta International airport road, Kenya

This, unfortunately, is another symptom of the cantankerous relationship between the federal and state governments. The Lagos government was keen and willing to carry out the necessary repair works on the road to enable the state showcase the nation’s crown jewel, but because of seemingly rigid federal laws, the state is grossly disempowered to take any action.
The state governor, Babatunde Fashola, in a recent chat with newsmen, blamed the deplorable state of the airport road on politics. According to him, both the road and the airport belong to the Federal Government.
He said the state government’s failure to either rehabilitate or reconstruct the road was due to issues that had been politicized. The governor regretted his decision not to modernise the 4.2km road when the idea first struck him, recalling that his plan was to expand it, provide service lanes and introduce tolls for motorists who opted to use the fast lanes.

THIS IS LAGOS

THIS IS LAGOS

 

THIS SHOULDN'T BE LAGOS

THIS SHOULDN’T BE LAGOS

It is not only Fashola, who is bemoaning the shame that is the airport road. Former Cross Rivers State Governor, Donald Duke and a group of local and foreign businessmen have also added their voice to the lamentation. They spoke at the Nigerian Tourism Investors Forum held in Lagos.
Duke said it would be difficult for Nigeria as a country to attract foreign investors and tourists if nothing was done about the poor state of the Lagos airport. “The first thing that hits anyone who comes to Nigeria is the airport. The airports are in a very bad state. After leaving the airport, the next thing is the traffic gridlock, and then the environment. So if we as a nation want to improve the tourism sector, we have to touch everything, including the airport.
“We are not asking for a Dubai-type of airport in Lagos. All we want is a clean and decent environment. Nigerians are the most welcoming and most friendly people in the world, but the unpleasant sight of petrol tankers, garages, police checkpoints, potholes and uncultivated trees and bushes cast us in bad light.”

Advertisements

23 thoughts on “Shameful five minutes to Nigeria’s international airport

  1. Jacelyn says:

    We are a group of volunteers and opening a new scheme in our community.

    Your web site provided us with valuable info to work on.
    You’ve done a formidable job and our entire community will be grateful to you.

  2. buty damskie says:

    Thanks for your marvelous posting! I truly enjoyed reading it,
    you happen to be a great author. I will be
    sure to bookmark your blog and will often come back later in life.

    I want to encourage you continue your great job, have a nice morning!

  3. You are so interesting! I do not think I’ve read through a single thing like this before. So wonderful to find another person with a few original thoughts on this subject matter. Really.. thanks for starting this up. This site is something that is required on the internet, someone with some originality!

  4. Weldon says:

    Hey there! Wߋuld you mind if I snare your blοg with my zynga gгoup?

    There’s a lοt of folks that I think woud really enjoy
    your content. Pleɑse let me know. Thaոk you

  5. Hello! This post could not be written any better!
    Reading through this post reminds me of my old room mate!
    He always kept chatting about this. I will forward this article to him.

    Pretty sure he will have a good read. Thanks for sharing!

  6. Heya just wanted to give you a quick hеaɗs սp and let yyou know a few of the images aren’t loadіng properly.
    I’mnot sure why but I think its a linking іssue. I’ve tried it in two different internet ƅrowsers annd both
    show the same results.

  7. Rudolf says:

    Mү brοother rеcommended I may like this website.
    He was once totally right. This submit actualoy mae my day.
    Yoս can not imagine justt how a loot time Ihad spent for this
    info! Thanks!

  8. Hi to all, how is all, Ӏ think every one iѕ getting more from this
    web ѕite, and ƴour views are pleasajt designed for new users.

  9. Tumblr.Com says:

    Goood day! Thіis iss mу first visit tto your blog!
    We aree a group of voluntees and statiոg a new іnitiative іn a cоmmunity in
    the samе niche. Үourr blog prοvided us useful information to work on.
    You have done a extraordinary job!

  10. Frances says:

    What i Ԁo not understood is iin fact how you are nno longer rеally mucɦ more
    smаrtly-appгeciated than you may bee now. Yoս are so intelligent.
    Yoou understand therefore consideraЬly іn relation too this subject, produceɗ
    mе in my view believе it from a lot of numerous ɑngles.
    Its like men and wοmen don’t seem to be interestеd except it’s somethinɡ to
    accomplish with Woman gaga! Your own stuffs nice. Always
    handle it up!

  11. Randall says:

    Pгetty great poѕt. I just stսmbled upon your ѡeblog and wishdd to ѕay that I have truly enjoyed browsing your weblog posts.
    Αfter all I will be subscribing for yߋur feed and I’m hoping you wгіte once
    mߋre sοon!

  12. mobile games says:

    I like what you guys are usually up too. This sort of
    clever work and coverage! Keep up the excellent works guys I’ve added you guys to my own blogroll.

  13. Everything is very open with a really clear description of the challenges.

    It was really informative. Your site is very useful. Thanks for sharing!

  14. Great article. I will be going through a few of these issues
    as well..

  15. Very energetic blog, I liked that a lot. Will there be a part 2?

  16. Can you tell us more about this? I’d want to find out
    some additional information.

  17. I don’t know if it’s just me or if everybody else experiencing issues with your website.
    It appears as if some of the written text within your content are running off the screen. Can somebody else please comment and let me know if
    this is happening to them as well? This may be a issue with my internet browser because
    I’ve had this happen before. Cheers

  18. whoah this weblog is fantastic i like reading your posts.
    Keep up the great work! You know, a lot of persons are searching round for this information, you can aid them greatly.

  19. This excellent website certainly has all the information I wanted concerning this
    subject and didn’t know who to ask.

  20. whoah this weblog is great i like studying your posts.
    Stay up the good work! You recognize, many persons are hunting round for this information, you can aid them greatly.

  21. This is my first time pay a visit at here and i am truly happy to
    read all at single place.

  22. Outstanding post however I was wanting to know if you could write a litte more on this
    subject? I’d be very grateful if you could elaborate a little bit more.
    Kudos!

  23. Can you please write a more detailed, i checked on other website and the information were a bit off. Ubersuggest girl .

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s