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Lagos transport project wasting away as miscreants, others occupy bus shelters –Report

File Photo Collage of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State Launching the 'Lagos Ride' Public Transport Initiative

*Most of the multi-million Naira bus-stop shelters  erected in several parts of Lagos State for public transport commuters are no longer being utilised by those they are meant to serve, says a report

Emmanuel Akosile | ConsumerConnect

Though conceived as part of the public transport initiatives, most of the multi-million Naira bus stop shelters erected in several parts of Lagos State for numerous commuters are no longer being utilised by those that they were meant to serve, a report has revealed.

In Lagos, just like in other states of the Federation, bus-stop shelters have been erected to shield commuters who are alighting from vehicles or those waiting for vehicles from harsh weather, whether rain or sun.

It is recalled that former Governor Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State, in 2018, had set aside a N30bn sinking fund to transform public transportation in the state.

An important component of that public transport plan was the construction of 100 modern bus stops and shelters on major public transport corridors in the cosmopolitan state.

However, investigation revealed that many of those modern bus stops and bus shelters that were completed in several parts of the state had been taken over by miscreants, the mentally challenged and traders, thereby displacing commuters that they were erected to serve, The Punch report said.

From Ilasamaja and Cele Bus Stops to Ojota and Ijesa visited over the last weekend, the story was the same, according to report.

As commuters were not found in any of the bus shelters, traders and miscreants were seen having a field day.

It was also learnt that many of the homeless miscreants pass the night inside the bus shelters in the Lagos metropolis.

During a visit to the Ilasamaja bus stop, about five fierce-looking miscreants were sighted seated inside the bus shelter with no commuter in sight, report noted.

Likewise, at Cele Bus Stop, in Lagos State, a young man operating a lottery terminal was said to have conveniently turned the bus shelter into his shop, and he was seen with customers.

Nonetheless, some of new occupants of the bus shelters don’t display their products there on weekdays, but only on Saturdays and Sundays, report said.

One of the shelters using the bus shelter reportedly said: “On weekdays, we don’t display our goods to avoid issues. We only hide them at the back of the shelter, while hanging around.”

It was gathered that these traders pay a token to some persons for them to continue trading unhindered, but they were not willing to disclose the identities of such due collectors on the public transport bus shelters.

A similar scenario played out at the Ilasamaja bus stop shelter where a lady was seen offering services, such as SIM (Subscriber Identification Module) swaps and SIM purchases among others.

She stated: “This booth was here before I was employed. There was a time it was removed, but it was later brought back.”

Report also indicated the situation at Ojota was not different when our correspondent visited.

The bus shelter has turned into a haven for the homeless.

A motor boy who identified himself simply as Sodiq noted the shelter offers solace to individuals seeking respite, particularly at night.

“During the day, you can find people lying down here. The number increases at night.

“Some people sleep here, it’s not an easy ride for them. They are just looking for where to lay their heads.”

Meanwhile, an attempt to ask Gboyega Akosile, Chief Press Secretary (CPS) to Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State on what the state government was doing about the situation was not fruitful, as he did not take the phone calls or reply to the text message sent to him on the matter, according to report.

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