Lagos, the nation’s commercial capital, loses a whopping sum of N4 trillion yearly, due to perennial traffic congestion
A recent report conducted by the Danne Institute for Research made this known, adding that there is a need for swift action to alleviate the economic and social damage.
The report titled ‘Behavioural Causes of Traffic Congestion in Lagos,’ funded by the Bank of Industry and Africa Finance Corporation, was delivered on Wednesday in Lagos.
Presenting the report, the Executive Director, Danne Institute for Research, Franca Ovadje said the huge loss could otherwise be harnessed toward important sectors of the Lagos economy.
The report disclosed this was caused by behavioural factors seen as the primary culprits, including poor road infrastructure, violation of traffic laws, activities of ‘agberos’ at bus stops, and buses picking up passengers.
Ovadje mentioned that the Lagos 21 million population has not yielded into corresponding productivity due to the disastrous impact of traffic jams on daily life.
He pointed out that doubling the population in developing countries should result in a 5 to 6 per cent growth in productivity.
Respondents, who expressed traffic congestion as their top challenge, proposed solutions that focus on road construction, repairs, and maintenance, along with a ban on agberos and stringent enforcement of traffic laws.
The report called on government authorities to prioritise these recommendations to enhance productivity, attract investments, and generate substantial internally generated revenue through law enforcement.
According to the report, Lagos residents spend an average of 2.21 hours commuting daily, with 45 percent spending more than two hours.
“Areas like Ajah, Etiosa, and Apapa bear the brunt, necessitating urgent measures such as nighttime road construction, creation of alternative routes during construction, and strict enforcement of traffic laws,” the report noted.
As the Lagos State Government finalised works on the Lekki Coastal Road Construction, the report advocates for sustained efforts to prevent further traffic woes.
It called for strict penalties, and increased deployment of LASTMA officials, police, and even soldiers to manage traffic effectively.
The report concluded by urging a robust campaign against touts and corrupt traffic wardens to restore discipline and order to Lagos roads, essential for transforming the city into a livable and prosperous metropolis.