Lagos, Tanker Drivers Head For Showdown As Govt Issues Ultimatum


An imminent crisis is brewing between the Lagos State Government and truck drivers in the state as the government has issued a 48-hour ultimatum to them to vacate the Apapa-Oshodi expressway or have their vehicles impounded.

The government said it could longer tolerate a situation where tanker and truck drivers hold the state to ransom through indiscriminate parking on the Apapa-Oshodi expressway, thus causing untold traffic gridlock.

In the last few days, the menace of tanker drivers on the expressway had led to serious traffic gridlock, while motorists spent hours to get to their destinations had been complaining bitterly.

Tanker drivers usually embark on strike any time the government tried to enforce the law and prevent them from parking on the expressway.

A joint task force between the Lagos and Federal Government has been set up to impound and tow trucks that refused to vacate the expressway as well as mete out appropriate punishment to the offenders.

Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Kayode Opeifa, in a statement he personally signed, warned that at the expiration of the ultimatum, owners of any vehicle towed would be made to bear the cost of evacuation, saying that government could no longer exercise patience and needed to take urgent action.

The commissioner said the ultimatum became necessary to ensure the safety and order on the road and reduce the plight of road users along the corridor.

“The need to remove all these abandoned, disused and stationary vehicles from the corridor is necessary in order to ensure that the contractors who have been mobilised to rehabilitate the road and also construct the truck terminal move to site so as to ensure the timely completion of the projects,” he said.

According to him, the decision of the state government was based on the resolution of the stakeholders’ meeting in April this year that all vehicles along the Apapa-Oshodi corridor would be removed before or on 15 July, 2011.

The commissioner urged the National Union of Petroleum and Gas Worker (NUPENG), Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD), National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMARTO) and the Raod Transport Employers Association of Nigeria, RTEAN, to advise their members to comply.


By Kazeem Ugbodaga

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