Several articulated truck drivers have bemoaned the economic loss resulting from the traffic gridlock on the Benin-Sapele-Warri Expresss due to several failed portions.
At a failed portion during an inspection tour by officials of Delta State Government, vehicles were stuck at various sections of Okuovo community in Okpe Local Government Area.
Consequently, youths of the area have cashed in on the situation to make brisk business by extricating vehicles stuck in the mud for a fee.
A local transporter, Yusuf Muskiliu lamented that it now take over three hours to drive from Warri to Sapele, a journey which usually took less than thirty minutes.
Muskiliu appealed to the federal government to come to the aid of commuters by fixing the failed portions of the road, alleging that hoodlums have also taken advantage of the deplorable spots to attack and dispossess motorists of their belongings at odd hours.
He said, “This is hectic and worrisome, we are suffering because of the bad road and we are begging, you people should tell government to help us.”
A driver, Nurudeen Bello said his vehicle broke down at a failed portion for three days, while another, Ibrahim Isah, said his articulated truck got trapped in the mud for more than five hours.
Speaking after the inspection, Commissioner for Works, James Auguoye, in company of his Information counterpart, Charles Aniagwu, pleaded with the Federal Government to step up intervention efforts in order to ameliorate the suffering of commuters plying the road.
Augoye said the level of intervention on the Benin-Warri highway was beyond the capacity of the state government, pointing out that what is needed is complete reconstruction.
“The State Governor, Sen. Ifeanyi Okowa has directed us to visit and assess the roads to see how the state government can intervene. The necessary documentations are been done in collaboration with the Federal Ministry of Works to commence with the intervention on Warri-Sapele road,” he said
On the Ughelli-Asaba dual carriageway, Augoye said the sector “A” is being executed by the state government at the contract sum of N19.1 billion.
On his part, Aniagwu said the state government is pained by what Nigerians are passing through on failed federal roads, noting that the development is affecting both the economy of the state and the nation.