…As agents, truckers shot down Lagos ports today
By Victor Ahiuma-Young & Godfrey Bivbere
Lagos—The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria, MWUN, yesterday, gave the Federal Government a 21-day ultimatum to rehabilitate and make the Oshodi-Apapa Dual Carriage Way and the access roads leading to the nation’s sea ports motor-able.
Also, Customs clearing agents and Amalgamation of Trucking Associations will from today shut down process of clearance of goods from the Lagos ports and evacuation of cargoes by withdrawing their services over port access roads that are not motor-able and other difficulties faced at the ports.
The President of MWUN, Prince Adewale Adeyanju, gave the ultimatum while responding to questions from newsmen in Lagos.
He said that it was sad that the access roads to the ports were in a deplorable condition.
Adeyanju said that the union was worried that the access roads to the nation’s seaports and the Oshodi-Apapa Dual Carriage Way that leads to Apapa and Tin-Can Ports had been abandoned.
He said: “It is sad that the gateway to the nation’s economy is abandoned. We have written several letters including issuance of ultimatums over these roads to no avail.
“’We can no longer live with the abandonment of access roads to the ports which have been in the state of disrepair for years in spite of efforts to draw government’s attention to the need to fix them.”
The union president said that for a long time, the Oshodi-Apapa Dual Carriage Way as well as other port access roads had become death traps to road users.
He said that the roads had been recording fatal accidents on a daily basis, and in December 2016, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) said that the contract for rehabilitation of the Dual Carriage Way had been awarded.
“We are in May 2017, nothing has been done. The sad thing is that there is no sign that any contract had been awarded,” Adeyanju said.
He further said that last week, NPA wrote again to the union that contracts had been awarded for the rehabilitation of the roads.
“If after three months to six months, the rehabilitation project does not start, we shall be compelled to take necessary action without further notice,” the union leader said.
He appealed to the government to repair the roads to save lives of innocent Nigerians that get trapped on the road or are attacked, robbed, harassed, intimidated and abused by hoodlums.
He said that hoodlums had been taking advantage of the deplorable roads to perpetuate all sorts of crimes.
Agents, truckers shut down Lagos ports
To ensure effective shut-down of the ports today, the Association of Nigeria Licensed Customs Agents, ANLCA, are joining forces with the truckers.
National President of ANLCA, Prince Olayewola Shittu, told Vanguard that the action will continue until the port access roads are fixed.
Shittu said several pleas to government to fix the roads in the past have fallen on deaf ears. He noted that there would be no going back until government takes action.
According to him, “We are going ahead with the strike. We will withdraw our services, we will not work. Although some of our people are meeting with government officials now but I know that we cannot just turn round like that, no way.”