The very bad state of Badagry Expressway leading to the ancient town of Badagry has dealt a big blow to the once thriving tourism and leisure business in the area resulting to poor economy and increased loss of jobs.
A prominent operator in the tourism business, Chief Patrick Yegbenu Mobee, told our reporter that the road has caused a major setback to the Badagry people and their local economy.
He disclosed that the number of visitors coming to the area has reduced drastically to less than thirty percent as most of potential tourists and visitors who used to see Badagry as a major holiday destination no longer come as they find it hard driving through the several bad spots on the major highway.
He added that as a result of Federal Government’s alleged negligence, residents of the town seems cut off from other parts of the state as according to him, they find it difficult driving out to other areas through the only road leading to Agbara and other parts of the state.
“In the past,during holidays and festivity periods, people come around to see the many historical and tourist facilities here. The influx of guests here greatly supported the social and economic life of our people
“Aside seeing the various tourist attraction here,tourists and guests also patronized hotels, buy literatures relating to history of the town and slave teade, pick souvenirs and engage in other commercial activities.
“Tourist sites like the Original Slave Relics Museum, Point of no return for exited slaves; the actual spot where Christianity was first preached in Nigeria in 1842;Early Missionaries Quarters ; Vlekete Slave Market; First spot where the British Union Jack Flag was hoisted; Heritage Museum which used to be Lander House, where the Divisional Officer lived and others are getting idle.
“We now have less than thirty percent patronage from what we used to have. This has forced us to reduce workforce from about 50 persons working as curators, tour guides, educators and other ancillary staff to 25. The number may reduce if nothing urgent is not done about the road
“Our private vehicles that we use in going out to other parts of Lagos have been severely damaged by the road causing us to spend more on vehicle repairs and maintenance. I am calling on the Federal Government to see this as an emergency and national embarrassment that should be addressed urgently”.
When our reporter travelled through the road recently, parts of the road between Agbara and Ibereko were cut off completely causing vehicles to drive through gullies in ponds of rain waters.
Some trucks carrying imparted consignments into Nigeria through Seme Border were also seen in a fallen state forcing their owners to transload the goods into other trucks.
By Ismail Aniemu