Lagos - The closure of the Third Mainland bridge has affected business activities in Lagos.
The bridge was closed to traffic on Monday morning for repairs.
The closure caused traffic gridlock in most parts of the city, resulting in loss of many man-hours.
Many workers and traders, who left their homes very early to beat the anticipated road congestion, were still trapped in the gridlock.
Many workers and traders did not get to their places of work as late as 11.45 am.
The Balogun and Idumota markets on the Lagos Island were bereft of their characteristic early morning sales as many of the traders were still in the traffic.
Some of the offices in Lagos Island, especially banks, were also affected.
Few workers and customers were seen in banking halls in the early hours of the morning.
Some traders, who shuttle daily from the Lagos Mainland to transact businesses on the Lagos Island, said that they left their houses at 4.00 am to beat the traffic.
Others said that they used the ferry services from Ikorodu to make it to Lagos Island early.
Some traders at the Balogun and Idumota markets, however, said that it was too early to count losses.
Mrs Taibat Adegbite, a trader, said that things were still normal.
“I think prices and fares are still normal. Nothing has gone up except for the gridlock today coming to the market.
“We cannot even say that business have been affected because it’s too early to ascertain, but everything has been good so far,” Adegbite said.
Mrs Funke Olajide, a sales representative, said that she used the ferry to get to the market on the Lagos Island.
“I stay in Ikorodu and I had to use ferry; none of our staff came late because we all took the ferry.
“Business is a little slow, but that’s how it is every morning. Business is still normal for now, wholesalers are still coming to make their orders,” Olajide said.
Mr Saheed Usman, a commercial bus driver, who operates from the mainland to Lagos Island, said the gridlock had not affected fares.
“The fare from here to Oworonsoki is still N150, but the traffic is slowing down our business because I should have gone three to four times but this is just my first trip at 10:25am.
Mr Sunday Adesola, also a commercial bus driver, said also that the partial closure of the Third Mainland Bridge would affect his daily turnover.
Adesola said that the gridlock made transporters to spend more time on the roads, stressing that the bad condition of the Lagos roads had compounded the traffic situation.
He said that the alternative roads should have been rehabilitated before the partial closure of the bridge.
Mr Joseph Sunday, a commercial driver, said that his trip from Ikeja to CMS was extended by two hours because of the gridlock.
In spite of the agony of commuters across Lagos, prices of food items and transport fares remained relatively stable.