A recent study conducted by the Danne Institute for Research disclosed that Lagos, the commercial hub of Nigeria, is losing a staggering N4tn annually, attributed to profound traffic congestion.
The study, titled ‘Behavioural Causes of Traffic Congestion in Lagos,’ funded by the Bank of Industry and Africa Finance Corporation, underscored the need for immediate action to alleviate the economic and social toll.
The report was presented on Wednesday in Lagos.
According to the Executive Director of the Danne Institute for Research, Franca Ovadje the staggering loss could otherwise be directed toward vital sectors such as education, healthcare, and infrastructure development.
The report identifies behavioral factors as the primary culprits, including poor road infrastructure, violation of traffic laws, activities of agberos at bus stops, and buses picking up passengers.
Ovadje emphasized that the 21 million-strong population of Lagos is not translating into corresponding productivity due to the crippling impact of traffic jams on daily life.
The report suggests 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 calls on government authorities to prioritize these recommendations to enhance productivity, attract investments, and generate substantial internally generated revenue through law enforcement.
The report also highlights that Lagosians 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 concludes works on the Lekki Coastal Road Construction, the report advocates for sustained efforts to prevent further traffic woes.
It calls for strict penalties, and increased deployment of LASTMA officials, police, and even soldiers to manage traffic effectively.
The report concludes by urging a comprehensive 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.