Some traders plying Lagos-Seme road have urged the Federal Government to repair the Lagos-Badagry expressway and lift the ban on importation of vehicles through the land borders.
The traders made the appeal in separate interviews with the News Agency of Nigeria in Lagos on Tuesday.
A commercial driver plying between Seme and Cotonou, Mr Joy Sagbohan, said the deteriorating state of the road had affected his business.
“Many of our customers now prefer to go through Idiroko to Cotonou instead of going through Seme border.
“Before the road got worse, I usually realised between N20,000 to N15,000 daily, but now I hardly realise between N2,500 to N1,500 after fueling the bus.
“It is difficult for me to repair my vehicle due to the low income as a result of bad roads from Lagos to Badagry.
“My colleagues and I are facing a lot of challenges encountering immigration officers, but we have a good relationship with the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS); they do not inconvenience us in any form,” Sogbohan said.
Another driver, Mr Mamudu Paraiso, urged Nigerian government to caution some its agencies to stop extorting travellers at the border areas.
“Since the Economic Community of West African States has told the two countries to encourage free movement from the border areas, some Nigeria regulatory agencies still extort money to allow movement into Nigeria area.
“Since the borders have been closed to importation of vehicles, car dealers are no longer coming to board our vehicles to Cotonou,” Paraiso said.
He urged government to open the border posts for importation of vehicles to enable traders and commercial motorists to earn some income to feed their families
Mrs Nofisat Kareem, a former cosmetics dealer who ended up as a pure water seller, said she change her business because she could no longer make profit from cosmetics.
She said she was trading between Lagos International Trade fair area to Seme.
Kareem said she had no option than to go into pure water business to enable her feed her children.
Another trader, Mrs Mercy Jude, also lamented the poor state of Lagos-Badagry express road, saying that she used to travel once a weekon the route to buy Dettol disinfectant in Lagos.
She urged government to look into multiple checkpoints along the routes mounted by Nigerian officials extorting money from the traders.
Edited by Dorcas Jonah/Tajudeen Atitebi