Flood: Motorists, commuters lament ordeals along Lokoja-Abuja expressway, solicit help

Posted by News Express | 10 October 2022 | 247 times

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•Long queues of vehicles on the Abuja-Lokoja Expressway


•NIWA provides ferry services to ease the ordeal of trapped passengers

As the gridlock created by a flood in Lokoja, the Kogi State capital and its environs continue for days, motorists and commuters plying the Lokoja-Abuja expressway have experienced tough times.

The flood had overtaken major roads in Ajaokuta, Lokoja and Koton Karfe Local Councils of Kogi State, thereby making vehicular movement from or through Lokoja to Abuja almost impossible, thereby creating a hardship on motorists.

Consequently, travellers from Abuja to the southern part of the country and those going from the South to the North have remained in one spot for several days with some vehicles submerged completely.

Narrating his ordeal, a truck driver, Umar Basil, said: “We thought we could manage to pass, but the tempo of the flooding increased and we were trapped. It has caused a lot of damage to our vehicles.

Another motorist, who identified himself as Yunusa, said they had to spend over N8, 000 naira each to get to Lokoja.

“You can see me and my family, we spent N8,000 naira each to get to Lokoja, after spending two days in one place.

Yunusa called on the government to find a lasting solution to the perennial flood, particularly in Kogi State,  which he said is a transit state, to reduce the sufferings of commuters and motorists.

Meanwhile, the management of National Inland Waterways, (NIWA), has provided ferry services to ease the movement of stranded passengers to and fro the Abuja axis and between Lokoja and Ajaokuta.

The General Manager, of Corporate Affairs, Jibril Dardau, in a statement, said the  Managing Director, Dr. George Moghalu directed the Area Manager of the Lokoja Area Office to quickly release NIWA boats to provide services for stranded travellers in Lokoja and Koton Karfe to ease the suffering of travellers caused.

According to NIWA gauge readers in Lokoja, they confirmed that the 2012 flood level was 12.84 meters, whereas that of this year is reading 13.22 meters, hence, the 2022 flood level has surpassed that of 2012 by 0.38 meters.

“The flood this year has overtaken major roads in Ajaokuta, Lokoja and Koton Karfe Local Government Areas of Kogi State, which made it impassable for travellers from or through Lokoja to Abuja, thereby creating serious hardship on Nigerians.

“It is in this regard, NIWA in conjunction with Boat Owners Association has been providing succour to these victims in compliance with the safety guidelines of wearing life jackets, avoiding overloading, over speeding and night sailing.”(The Guardian)


Source: News Express

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