Residents of Kirikiri town have lamented hardship caused by the bad condition of Karimu Road, in the Oriade Local Council Development Area of Lagos State.
The residents claimed that the companies in the community neglected the road and failed in their corporate social responsibility.
They identified the companies trading in the community as Techno Oil and Gas Limited, Fatgbems Oil, Sam Star Nigeria Limited, Bovas Oil, Chisco Energy, Best Staff Construction Company, Kam Wire Nigeria Limited, Bolingo Nigeria Limited, Ratel Engineering Limited, Bao Yao Nigeria Limited, Reynold Nigeria Limited, among others.
The protesting residents, including women and youths, carried placards with different inscriptions indicating the bad state of the road and adjoining streets.
The woman leader of the community, Florence Nnakife, said the gridlock caused by the road had led to the death of many residents.
She said, “This protest is long overdue. Some of our children can no longer go to school; the ones that go to school struggle to get there because their school buses no longer ply the road because of its bad state.
“We are suffering. About two weeks ago, a young boy lost his life. He had been sick and became unconscious, so his family decided to take him to Hilton Hospital in the Berger area. They were on the way when they ran into gridlock caused by the bad road. The boy died in the car.
“We want the road to be fixed. We want the trucks plying this road to be diverted to another route because they cause gridlock. Sometimes, we pass under the trucks to enter our houses. We want all these to stop.”
The youth President of the community, Popoola Odoji, alleged that the companies, despite being notified of the hardship, feigned ignorance of their plights.
He added that the residents were determined to voice out their aggression to get a solution.
“We have spent over N70,000 writing letters and we have also had a series of meetings with the concerned companies, but they have been promising us that they will do something, but nothing was done. So, the elders, women and youths in the community decided to protest. We have decided that if they don’t do the road, we will prevent them from working,” Odoji said.
The Chief Security Officer of the community, Doherty Olukoya, while urging the companies to improve the condition of the road through its CSR, appealed to the government to respond to the plights of the residents.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the companies in the community established the Depot Owners Association to facilitate CSR projects to improve the condition of the community.
The Secretary, Depot Owners Association, Simeon Anabor, denied the claim that the companies abandoned their CSR to the community.
He noted that the association had sent its technical committee to assess Karimu Road and the palliative measures that could be put in place.
He said, “If the residents are saying that we have abandoned our CSR, it is very unfair because the association constructed Kadoso Road, constructed drainage channels in the community and offered employment opportunities to youths in the community.
“The challenge is the economic downturn that has affected the oil sector and made operations very difficult. Most of the depots there are not operating and that is why they have not been able to put funds together because constructing the road is a capital intensive project.
“Over N50m was spent on constructing Kadoso Road. Because of low economic activities, the companies did not have the money to undertake the construction of Karimu Road. The association has been in charge of maintaining all these roads for over five years now.
“The association has sent a technical committee to assess Karimu Road to see what could be done in terms of palliatives. We also appeal to the state and the Federal Government to come to our aid.”