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Monday, July 22, 2024

Lagos Bus Wahala: Miscreants, Traders Take Over Multi-Million Naira Park

Most of the multi-million naira bus stop shelters erected in some parts of Lagos State to serve the state’s numerous commuters are no longer being utilised by those that they were meant to serve, Herald Reporter’s investigation has revealed.
Our correspondent reports that in Lagos, just like in other states, bus stop shelters were erected to shield commuters who are alighting from vehicles or those waiting for vehicles from harsh weather, whether rain or sun.
In 2018, the then-governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode, set aside a N30bn sinking fund to transform public transportation in the state.
A key component of that plan was the construction of 100 modern bus stops and shelters on major public transport corridors in the state.
Today, many of those modern bus stops and bus shelters that were completed in many parts of the state, had been taken over by miscreants, the mentally challenged and traders, thereby displacing commuters that they were erected to serve.
From Ilasamaja and Cele Bus Stops to Ojota and Ijesha visited by our correspondent over the weekend, the story was the same.
While commuters were not found in any of the bus shelters, traders and miscreants were seen having a field day.
Our correspondent learnt that many of the homeless miscreants pass the night inside the bus sheds.
During a visit to the Ilasamaja bus stop, our correspondent cited five fierce-looking miscreants seated inside the bus shelter with no commuter in sight.
At Cele Bus Stop, a young man operating a lottery terminal has conveniently turned the bus shelter into his shop. He was seen with customers
At the Ijesha Bus Stop, traders selling farm produce were seen displaying their goods.
Our correspondent learnt that they don’t display their products in the shelter on weekdays, but only on Saturdays and Sundays.
“On weekdays, we don’t display our goods to avoid issues. We only hide them at the back of the shelter, while hanging around,” one of the traders told this reporter
It was further learnt 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 those they pay to.
A similar scenario played out at the Ilasamaja bus stop shelter where a lady was seen offering services such as SIM swaps and SIM purchases among others.
“This booth was here before I was employed. There was a time it was removed, but it was later brought back,” she said.
The situation in 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 told our correspondent that 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,” he said.
Our correspondent attempted to ask the Chief Press Secretary to the State Governor, Gboyega Akosile, what the state government was doing about the situation but he did not take the calls or reply to the text message sent to him on the matter


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