Road transportation is the most commonly used mode of transportation in Nigeria, and perhaps the world over. Road transport activities involve the conveyance of passengers in large or small numbers to various destinations, the transportation of animals, farm produce and merchandise, and mobile services such as mobile clinics and bullion vans for banks.
Millions of Nigerians use motor vehicles as the primary means of travel day by day, and this reliance on road transportation informs the need to categorize road-use into most-travelled roads in Nigeria and least-travelled roads in Nigeria. But our attention for this piece is on the former – based on the fact that the rate of road-use is dependent on the distribution of people and goods across a particular region or city.
1. Lagos-Ibadan Expressway
The federal highway between the most populated city (Lagos) and the largest city (Ibadan) in Nigeria is a distance of 120 kilometres – and constructed in 1974. It is more or less the most-travelled road in Nigeria given that Lagos is the commercial hub of Nigeria attracting people from all over the country on a daily basis. Lagos also has the largest number of companies and product factories in the countries, and it used to be the capital of Nigeria – with a direct road to Ibadan the largest city in West Africa and the most ancient.
2. Abuja-Lokoja-Okene Road
Since the capital and government-seat of Nigeria was moved from Lagos to Abuja, the FCT has become one of the most popular cities in the country and its roads the most travelled in Nigeria. You can enter Abuja from Suleja in Niger State, from Kaduna, from Nassarawa, and from Lokoja in Kogi State among other major roads, but the Abuja-Lokoja-Okene road appears to be the most-used. Thousands of vehicles coming from the Southern and Eastern parts of the country take the Abuja-Lokoja-Okene road and sometimes the Suleja-Jebba road into the FCT.
3. Benin-Ore Expressway
Frequent travelers would agree that the Benin-Ore-Shagamu road is one of the most travelled roads in Nigeria, with most travellers from the South-West parts of the country using the Ore road in Ondo State to get to Benin in Edo State. Although it fell into disrepair some years back due to heavy vehicular use, thousands of motorists coming from far and near still use to road to get to Benin before going further to Delta State and the Eastern States of the country. This road is largely travelled by luxurious buses and smaller vehicles, with rate of traffic increasing around November-December period.
4. Okigwe-Umuahia Road
The road from Enugu to Port-Harcourt remains one of the most travelled expressways in the country, with thousands of traders and young graduates moving from Enugu and other Eastern states to oil-rich Rivers State in search of lucrative jobs or to run some brisk businesses. The road has also not been maintained in recent years and many people from across the country are calling for the roads to be rehabilitated to prevent it from being a death-trap to many travellers.
5. Enugu-Awka-Onitsha Road
The expressway joining Enugu to Onitsha used to be the glory of the old Eastern Region, but maybe not so anymore. The major road links Enugu, Awka, and Onitsha together – having been built in the late 1970s. It is one of the busiest roads used by Igbo traders and businessmen, and one of the most popular roads in the Eastern part of the country. Hundreds of luxurious buses and trucks and smaller vehicles ply the road on daily basis and this fact underscores the needs for it to be upgraded to make it safer for all travellers.