Over 1.5 million residents of the 10 estates around Jakande Roundabout in Lekki, Lagos State, weekend called on RMB West Port, owners of Shoprite, to provide them alternative routes before it opened its mall on Dec. 17.
They told newsmen in Lagos that the management of the outfit should have consulted widely before citing the mall around Jakande Roundabout.
According to them, this was because the traffic on the Lekki –Epe Expressway had always been chaotic before now and opening of the mall would attract more human and vehicular traffic to the area.
Mr John Thomas, a resident of Femi Okunnu Estate near the Jakande Roundabout, said that there were more than 10 estates in the area with each estate having not less than 150 buildings.
“These estates include — Femi Okunnu Phases 1 to 4, Victory Park, Friends’ Colony, Milverton, Egerton , Cardogan, Pinnock Arcadia Groove and Northern Foreshore , all with one access road.
“The only access road to all these estates is Hon. Yaya Dosunmu, Way and more than 400, 000 cars ply the road on daily basis,’’ he said.
Thomas lamented that two filling stations located on both sides of the link- road to the expressway always caused gridlock whenever there was fuel scarcity.
Another resident, Mr Idowu Johnson who resides at Friends’ Colony, said the main entrance and exit to the mall serves as the same one that leads to their estate.
“We are all aware that wherever the mall had been located, they used to attract many customers and this had always resulted in congestion.
“We are not against their operation because we will also patronise them, but they should also understand our plights and come up with alternative routes so that we will not suffer.
“This is the only route for the no-fewer-than 1.5 million residents and we are all mobile, how do you think their operation will not affect our daily routine?
“We are appealing to the government and the management of the mall to look for alternative routes so as to ease traffic for residents of the area and intending customers,’’ he said.
Also, Mrs Modupola Ajagbe, a resident of Egerton Estate, said that when the residents’ association heard that the mall would be built there, they wrote to its management , but there was no response from it.
Ajagbe said that the association had to write the state government on the issue, but we received the reply from state government after the construction of the mall had started.
“Officials from the Ministries of Transport, and Physical Planning and Urban Development held a meeting with the stakeholders in the estate and representatives of the mall to resolve the matter.
“Another meeting will hold on Dec.8; but our concern is that if the mall opens for operations as scheduled on Dec.17, the mall’s management may not meet our condition.
“We are appealing to the state government to compel the management to halt the official opening of the mall until all our demands are met,” she said.
When Vanguard visited the site, construction work was ongoing as all efforts to get the management of the Circle Mall to react proved abortive. An official had said he was not authorised to speak to the press.