Has the Minister of Works, Babatunde Fashola seen this yet?

Has anyone else wondered if there are supernatural forces dealing with us in Nigeria? Not just in terms of politics but also as regards infrastructure.

It’s like one day you are jumping for joy that a particularly bad patch of road that causes traffic from the pit of hell has been fixed and the next you’re wondering if it was all a dream. Like that is how fast roads get bad in Nigeria. They get patched one day and the potholes return by the next week. No jokes.

If you ply the Herbert Macaulay route on the Lagos Mainland then you probably know what this is about. The stretch between the University of Lagos (UNILAG) junction and the West African Examinations Council (WAEC) bus stop has undergone countless repairs in the past few years but every single rainy season, the road goes bad. This is sad.

It just makes you wonder why? What have we done to deserve the pain?

Now that we have got the overly dramatic Nigerian brand of complaining out of the way. The truth is the roads only get patched but the authorities never actually fix the underlying causes of the damages. Be it lack of maintenance or over-utilization (when heavy duty vehicles ply Trunk C roads). And in the case of Herbert Macaulay road as with countless others, just good old lack of proper drainage system. So then you wonder why they do not first address that before fixing the roads, right?

No answer there. Considering the number of times roads like that undergo repairs (in anticipation and in the wake of the rains), they probably expect to get different results using the same methods. It is no longer lack of efficiency. It is now clear there are supernatural forces at play trying rob us of pliable roads.

But the gods of science are not at sleep and they have come with the innovative technology to tackle this. An invention we believe was solely made for Nigeria. Or does anyone know any other country that has refused to install/repair/maintain proper drainage systems for their people?

The UK sustainable construction group, Tarmac, has created something called Topmix Permeable, a porous concrete that allows rain water to flow though it.

According to a Business Insider report, up to 880 gallons of water can trickle through Topmix wherever it is installed and this could eliminate flooding where it has been installed. Join us in asking what the Federal Ministry of Works is waiting for?

Many of the concerns surrounding Topmix are related to performance in freezing whether. Great! Seeing as that’s not a problem in Nigeria. Another issue is that of clogging of the porous concrete. There are fears that the concrete might filter out contaminants when clogged. Not to make light of the issue but I doubt that will be a major concern in Nigeria. The amount of contaminants being filtered out of some influential mouths already will keep us occupied for a while.

To address the issue of contaminants, it is reported that the concrete has a permeability rate that is 120 times faster than the minimum required levels. Again, no problems there?

So we appeal to the Federal Minister of Works, Power and Housing , Mr. Babatunde Fashola to quickly look into this and see if we can be spared the traumatizing agony of watching the same roads get repaired year in year out.

One comment

  1. Comment: About Nigerian roads our drainages are not well slopped to send water to where it’s supposed to go, and we need to changed our present design. we should copy from one time late governor of old Imo state, Sam mbakwe . He casted some roads first, before capping them with bitumen. (black tar). even if such roads go bad, you replace only the surface the concrete if well reinforced, and rules of casting followed. We won’t be spending monies that would have gone for other things, on road maintenance every year. especially southern parts of Nigeria.

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