– Task force frees service lane from Sanya Bus-Stop
Moshood Adebayo and Christopher Oji
Despite the Lagos State Government’s effort to remove trucks and tankers from highways and bridges, the main carriageway of Oshodi-Apapa Expressway is still blocked as at yesterday.
A visit to the expressway yesterday revealed that stationary tankers were still parked on the main carriageway from Ijesha to Sanya Bus Stop from where there is a diversion to the service lane where also a corridor leads to Mile 2.
On the service lane, however, tankers and trailers are parked on the service lane stretching to Mile 2.
This was even as a joint operation, involving security agencies and stakeholders in the maritime sector, set up by the government was able to free the service lane from Cele Bus Stop.
On Friday the state government started the removal of all containerised trucks and tankers parked along the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway.
Meanwhile, the state government said over 2,000 articulated vehicles were removed from the roads, including Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, Funsho Williams Avenue and Mile 2-Orile and taken to seven designated holding bays in the past 72 hours.
Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Kehinde Bamigbetan and Commissioner for Transportation, Ladi Lawanson, in a joint statement yesterday, said it was gratifying to report that the task force has opened up the service lane along the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway to ease traffic from Toyota to Mile 2.
“Personnel for the operation were mustered at the state headquarters of the police in Ikeja at about 2200hours of Friday, July 20, where they were addressed by the Commissioner of Police, Imohimi Edgal.
“This was followed by their deployment to the locations for the evacuation of the petroleum tankers and flat belt trucks causing gridlock from the service lanes and the expressway to seven holding bays at Ijora, Isolo, Amowu-Odofin, Orile, Apapa and Ijesha with the help of two Goliaths deployed by Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA).”
The commissioners said though it was a common knowledge that the issues which gave rise to the chaos were mainly about breakdown of activities at the ports and lack of holding bays by some tank farms and shipping lines operating in the axis, the state government, nonetheless, was taking it upon itself to come up with palliative measures to free the road.
On his part, Commissioner of Police, Lagos State Police Command, Imohimi Edgal, has called on drivers of light vehicles plying Funsho Williams Avenue and the Oshodi/Apapa expressway and other major roads to use service lanes as they were free of traffic.
The police boss, however, warned truck driver not to use the service lane, as any attempt to do so would incur the wrath of the force.
A joint task force, was set up by the government involving security agencies and stakeholders in the maritime sector to remove all containerised trucks and tankers parked along the dual carriageway.
Tagged: ‘Operation Restore Sanity On Lagos Roads,’ the task force involving 2,271 personnel drawn from the police, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), LASEMA, Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), and Nigerian Military, including army, Air Force and the Navy.
The operation also involved relevant unions within the maritime sector such as Amalgamation of Container Truck Owners Association, Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Nigeria Association of Road Transport Owners (NATO), Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) and Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO).
The commissioners said to build on the gains so far recorded, Governor Akinwunmi Ambode had already extended the operation of the task force for another 48 hours, while he would also host a meeting involving all the stakeholders in Alausa today to come up with lasting solution to the menace.
“Tomorrow, (today) the governor will be meeting with the Nigeria Ports Authority, Shippers Council, Tank Farm Owners, Department of Petroleum Resources, among others because that is where the problem is really emanating from,” the commissioners said.