• Friday, July 12, 2024
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BusinessDay

Apapa: Respite likely this year as PTD, NPA move to tackle gridlock…as tanker drivers eye parking lot in Amuwo-Odofin

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Respite is likely this year on the horrendous traffic gridlock which for a better part of 2014, crippled Apapa in Lagos, sending businesses and residents packing from the once serene environment.

CityFile gathered that petroleum tanker drivers are currently in talks with a private developer to secure a land space in Amuwo-Odofin area of the state to develop into a parking lot for most of the tankers parked on the Oshodi-Tincan-Apapa Expressway.

Leaders of the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) Association are billed to go for the physical inspection of the site in Amuwo-Odofin this week to enable them take informed decision on the land deal.

Tayo Aboyeji, south-west zonal public relations officer of PTD, told CityFile that the body is as concerned about the traffic menace in Apapa as any other Nigerian because their members are also affected.

“We are as concerned about the Apapa traffic as any member of the public. Our members are suffering too.  As a matter of fact, the tanker drivers are the most affected because staying on the road all night or day diminishes their human dignity. They are human beings too, so nobody is enjoying it. We don’t desire for this to continue this year. As I speak with you, we are in talks with a private developer over a land space in Amuwo-Odofin for a parking lot.

“We will be going for the inspection of the site on Thursday and we are hoping this will turn out well so that our members especially those travelling long distances to Lagos to lift products can have a place to park and free the roads,” said Aboyeji.

The tanker park is also being contemplated at the time the trailer park constructed opposite is being completed for use from the end of January.

Also, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has stated commitment to strictly enforce the implementation of minimum standard for trucks that can be allowed into the ports. Nasir Anas Mohammed, manager, the Lagos Port Complex, Apapa, who stated this, said the NPA would no longer allow trucks that do not meet standards required of them to enter the ports. The move, it was gathered is also part of the measures to decongest the roads leading in and out of Apapa.

“We are worried that trucks come into the ports to pick consignments and they break down on roads. The NPA is interested that you not only pick from the port but take it safely to the owners’ warehouse or end users conveniently. We want to put it on the front burner this year because we are not happy seeing trucks breaking down on the roads,” said Mohammed.

He added that the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and the Vehicle Inspection Officers (VIOs) in Lagos State would be involved in the enforcement.

“We are going to involve VIO, FRSC.  We intend to carry them along because they are the ones expected to regulate the activities of the truckers and their trucks. We relaxed the implementation in 2014 when stakeholders pleaded.

“We set out to achieve full implementation but along the line, we had requests and complaints from critical stakeholders like shipping companies, clearing agents, haulage companies who argued that they needed minimum time to comply and it was the last quarter of the year when importation was much.

“For the reasons listed, we collectively agreed that we would minimise full implementation of the policy to about five issues with the understanding that from 2015, we will make efforts to ensure full implementation,” he said.

 

JOSHUA BASSEY