Thursday, February 14, 2019 3:42 pm
The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has said that articulated vehicles usually parked on the bridges leading to Apapa Port were moved out of Lagos on Saturday when President Muhammadu Buhari campaigned for re-election because of security reasons.
Mr Hyginus Omeje, the FRSC Lagos State Sector Commander, made the disclosure to News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos on Thursday.
“In order to ensure that security of the president, vice-president and other dignitaries was not compromised, we sought their understanding for the trucks to be parked outside Lagos for the duration of the visit.
About 48 hours after the presidential campaign of All Progressives Congress (APC) in Lagos, the trucks which vanished from the bridges on the day of the campaign, returned and congested the roads.
Omeje said that the permanent solution to the traffic congestion caused by the trucks would be to create a permanent holding bay for the trucks.
The sector commander added that a holding bay with an electronic call-up system between the ports and the holding bay would solve the problem.
“It is not in the interest of anybody that the tankers and trucks are parked at the road; even the drivers do not like it, likewise the union.
“But we are gradually making progress to ensure that the challenges are solved with the Memorandum of Understanding we had with Nigerian Port Authority,’’ he said.
According to him, “during the campaign period, loading activities at the ports were tactically grounded.
“Loading of petroleum products was also affected and if we should allow that to continue or go beyond, it will create national crisis because 90 per cent of the petroleum products used in the country are lifted from Lagos,’’ he said.
Omeje said the task force dealing with the challenge had to seek the cooperation of the truck union and other stakeholders.
“What we did was that we partnered with the union and let them understand that the president’s security was paramount and overrides any other interest.
“That parking outside Lagos means that they are inconveniencing others at their various locations, because some of them went to Ogere, Sagamu and all the private parks along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
“All these we did to ensure that we have a safe environment for the president to conduct his rally in the state,’’ he said.
Tanker driver’s union in Lagos had on Dec. 17, appealed to Gov. Akinwunmi Ambode not to abandon the proposed Orile tanker terminal project started by his administration.
Mr Kehinde Ishola, the Secretary of Orile Branch of National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, Petroleum Tanker Drivers, reiterated their appeal in an interview.
“Ambode should continue the good work at the Orile Park to tackle the gridlock on the Apapa corridor.
“There should be an extension of the tanker terminal started some months ago and enlarging the existing terminal to accommodate more tankers.
“Recently, we discovered the work at the site suddenly stopped after the governorship primaries.
“We are begging the governor because the Apapa gridlock is affecting many businesses in the state,’’ Ishola said.