Users of the First Ibiwe road by Oba Market in Benin City, Edo State, are irate over the deplorable condition of the motorway.
First Ibiwe road serves as one of the major adjoining routes to the heart of Benin City. The poor condition of the motorway has crippled business and commercial activities in the populated area.
Traders and consumers, the primary users of the road, informed SaharaReporters that the motorway is now an eyesore and gradually becoming impassable for motorists and pedestrians.
An investigation by SaharaReporters revealed that commuters traveling to their places of employment have been forced to walk along the road.
This has greatly increased these workers’ commutes and has lead to increased exhaustion, stress levels, and a loss of man-hours. Workers interviewed by SaharaReporters expressed anger at the condition of the road and blamed the administration of Governor Adams Oshiomhole.
SaharaReporters learned from several traders and customers that commercial vehicles have increased their fares greatly due to the road’s bad condition. One commuter informed SaharaReporters that the average bus fare is now N1,800 per customer.
Several operators of commercial vehicles who spoke to SaharaReporters lamented the worsening condition of the road. They explained that the road’s poor condition caused them to work much harder each day in order to transport their passengers along the road.
Traders who own shops along the road are particularly affected by the road’s poor condition. One trader described the effect the road’s condition had had upon him, “When I first rented a shop here, this was the road Governor Oshiomhole would usually pass through. But now his convoy has stopped passing through here because of the bad road, while traders and business owners in some of the shopping malls find it difficult to attract customers to their shops.”
Traders have sent several appeals to Governor Oshiomhole requesting that the road be rehabilitated. However, the Governor's office has not responded.
One resident told SaharaReporters that, “the Ibiwe road by Oba Market is the commercial hub of business in Benin city, but it's deplorable condition has stopped many of us from visiting for buying and selling.” The resident added that traders and residents had carried out several protests to pressure the government to rehabilitate the road. However, these protests have only yielded empty promises from the government.
A source informed SaharaReporters that when it rains the market “is mostly a ‘No-Go-Area’ because it is muddy, and murky water spreads everywhere. During a downpour, you will see drivers struggling to forcibly move their vehicles out of the water, thereby damaging their vehicles.”
The First Ibiwe road, which is under the supervision of the Oredo Local Government Authority (LGA) of Edo State, services the largest population of Benin City. Also, SaharaReporters has learned that this population also raises the highest amount of Internally Generated Revenue (IGR) for the Edo State government. The populace has sent numerous requests for assistance to Governor Oshiomhole so that the suffering and plight of commuters who uses the road. Thus far no steps have been made to rehabilitate the road.