• Tuesday, July 16, 2024
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BusinessDay

Danger looms as tankers take over Lagos-Badagry Expressway

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Danger looms along the Lagos-Badagry highway with hundreds of petroleum tankers, some of which are loaded with premium motor spirit (PMS – petrol), converting both sides – beginning from Alakija to Trade Fair axis of the road, as parking lot.

This is coming on the heels of huge budgetary allocation by Akinwunmi Ambode, governor of Lagos State, to tackle the perennial traffic gridlock in the state, yet, there appears not to be light at the dark end of the tunnel, as they constitute grave danger to motorists in the event of fire outbreak and the negative impact during traffic flow.

The Lagos-Badagry Expressway, which is the only gateway linking other West African countries, is considered one of the four busiest roads within the Lagos metropolis, the others three being Lagos-Abeokuta, Lekki and Lagos-Ikorodu express roads.

It would be recalled that in 2011, a loaded petroleum tanker caught fire when it fell off the road and exploded near Alakija Bus Stop while the inferno as a result of the consequent fire outbreak spread to other vehicles trapped by the gridlock, and many lives were lost.

A fatal motorcycle accident that occurred on the area on Saturday was attributed to the activities of the tankers as the rider and his passenger rammed into one of the tankers blocking part of the road.

Residents of the area are concerned that the gridlock that locked down Apapa for years and reduced it to one of the worst environments to do business in the world would be transferred to the Badagry expressway, which is currently under reconstruction, unless the state government steps in and stop the tanker drivers.

“It is only a government that does not take safety seriously that will fold its hands and allow petroleum tankers take over a road as busy as the Lagos-Badagry Expressway. I think that before the situation slips out of control and becomes another Apapa, the Governor Akinwunmi Ambode-led government should stop them.

“These tankers should not be allowed to convert an expressway to a parking lot. That was how Apapa started, and the government was looking at them until they took over the road. Today, nobody can drive into Apapa through Mile 2-Tin Can axis,” said Isaac Ambe, a resident of Festac Town.

Also complaining against what he called “danger in the waiting,” Josephine Justin, who resides in Navy Town, close to Alakija, a tanker fire incident which occurred at Fin Niger Bus Stop in 2010, consumed lives and several vehicles on a row.

Justin said by allowing the tankers convert the road into parking space, the state government was displaying insensitivity to the safety of the residents, saying “I appeal to the governor to act fast to avert the danger.”