- Many residents of Lagos state are currently finding it difficult going about their activities on the Oshodi-Apapa expressway again
- Truck and tanker drivers reportedly flouted the order to stop parking along the road to ease traffic
- Comrade Tayo Aboyeji absolves NUPENG members and blames the congestion of the port on the gridlock
Truck and tanker drivers have returned to the Oshodi-Apapa expressway blocking the major road and making residents pass through hellish conditions as the gridlock resulting from this continues to spread to adjourning roads.
Vanguard reports that the road is currently overtaken by articulated vehicles making residents whose offices are located in the Apapa area suffer many hours on their way to work.
Many of the residents of the state, on Thursday, March 22, resorted to patronizing motorcycles hitherto banned on the road.
Chimezie Nwoke, a motorist, said he spent over two hours between two spots that should have taken just five minutes.
“The situation has led to breakdown of law and order as motorists, particularly, commercial buses, popularly called, ‘Danfo’, have resorted to driving against traffic.
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“Even at that, they have to turn at Second Rainbow when they discovered that the road was blocked," he said.
The report said commander of the Nigerian Navy Ship , NNS Beecroft, Commodore Okon Eyo, expressed surprise adding that he was at the Iganmu end, monitoring the enforcement of the directive to truck drivers to vacate Lagos bridges.
According to him, trucks that were turned back from the Iganmu and Ojuelegba ends could be the ones flooding the Oshodi express-way, in a bid to access the port.
“The project has not failed. Rather, it has improved. We have been making huge progress everyday. Right now, we don’t allow trucks which do not have any business with the port to be on the queue, we send them back.
“But in the drivers’ desperation, they detour and take through Oshodi. We don’t really have enough man power to take care of that area (Oshodi-Apapa expressway) but we are trying to address the situation from Liver pool end.
“We held a meeting with management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) yesterday. They (NPA) are working on measures to fast track the way trailers come into the ports.
“We are also talking with owners of tank farms to take in trucks coming to their tank farms, from where they will be loaded and leave thereafter.
“NPA is also making arrangement with shipping agencies to make holding bays available to tankers. That is in the pipeline and from there, we can begin to work on a plan to release tankers to come into the ports. By the time this is done, it will reflect everywhere,” he said.
Comrade Tayo Aboyeji, the zonal chairman of Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), said the tanker drivers on the gridlock did not park.
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“Most fuel depots outside Lagos are in full operations so tanker drivers have no reason to come to Lagos.
“Those that are loading in Lagos and its environs, if you go to Ogere along Ibadan Expressway in Ogun state, you will see them park there waiting for calls for them to come and load.
“However, the problem is that as they get to Lagos, on their way to the tank farms, they are trapped because of the activities of articulated trucks going to the ports. Our members are just victims of the congestion on the roads to the tank farms.
“The problem can only be solved if the ports in Lagos are de-congested. It is not about bad roads, it is purely about the volume of traffic going and coming out of the ports,” he argued.
Legit.ng earlier reported that the managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority ( NPA ) Hadiza Bala Usman, on Wednesday, February 7, announced that NPA had started the exportation of agricultural products.
Usman said the exportation is through the Ikorodu Lighter Terminal as part of measures to decongest the Lagos sea ports and boost the economy.
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