Accessible roads are as important to the economy as water is to the life of fish.
Good and accessible roads facilitates movement of goods and services within an economic landscape. The resultant activities enhances growth in the gross domestic product defined as the sum total of economic activities generated within a time frame.
To build such capacity, the road infrastructure has to be functional, effective and standard. Dynamic and competitive economies as in developed nations budget huge sums of money in their annual budget towards road construction and maintenance. Technological advancements in road Infrastructure has ushered in economic progression because of the enhancement in goods and service delivery.
The economic advantages of investment in accessible road infrastructure cannot be over emphasized.
In the Nigerian context, we have witnessed total neglect of road infrastructure. Several and successive governments have failed to tackle the appalling state of Nigerian roads.
Poor consideration and maintenance due to corruption have made it impossible to achieve the necessary and desired goals in road infrastructure. The effects are delay in travel time and movement of goods and services.
The lack of effective rail system is contesting our roads and toll is way too heavy on the road capacity. What the government is doing to tackle the issue is palliative and short term. No government has been able to come with a robust, comprehensive and enduring policy.
This endemic latitude on the part of the leadership has so much affected our gross domestic product and translated to our economic growth and standard of living.
Appropriation is allocated annually without corresponding impact because of endemic corruption. The people’s consciousness are very much awakened to this ugly reality. Recently demonstration and awareness creation about the deplorable condition of Sapele Road in Benin City powered by the One Love Foundation in synergy with civil societies is a welcome development.
The total neglect and colossal abandonment have grossly taken a toll on the economic life and health standard of the people.
Sitting helplessly and doing nothing is dangerous. There is need to drum up this level of momentum and awareness as exemplified by One Love Foundation in every part of Nigeria until there is a positive awakening by the leadership.
This methodology needs consistent approach. Our economic growth will remain in comatose if our roads remain a nightmare.
Patriot Patrick Eholor, otherwise known as Ultimate Equals is a human rights defender, and writes from Abuja, Nigeria’s capital
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