NIGERIA Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, yesterday insisted that until the Lagos Ports was decongested the gridlock on Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, would continue.

Vehicles wading through the flooded Apapa-Oshodi expressway from Sanya Bus Stop to Mi|le 2, recently. The 5-minute journey now takes more than three hours due to rainfall and bad drainage . Photo: Bunmi Azeez.

Reacting to yesterday gridlock that stretched up beyond Ijesha area of the road, Lagos Zonal Chairman of NUPENG, Tayo Aboyeji, noted that the upsurge of tanker drivers on the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, was to avoid scarcity of products ahead of Easter holidays.

According to him, like I said few days ago, the tanker drivers seen on the gridlock towards the ports are trapped on their way to lift products. If you notice more tanker drivers on that road it is because of the Easter holidays. They are rushing to get enough products to ensure that there is no scarcity during the holidays.

But if the truth must be told, until the Lagos Ports are decongested, the gridlock will continue because if you notice, most of trucks on that road are heavy duty articulated trucks. These containerized trucks are the major problem.

The Federal Government should ensure that other ports outside Lagos are made operational because most these containerized trucks are going to South-South and South-East. If Warri, Calabar, Onne, Port Harcourt ports, are made functional and are effectively used by diverting half of the ships to those areas, the gridlocks on the roads leading to ports and even tank farms will disappear.”

Speaking earlier, Lagos Zonal Chairman of Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG, Comrade Tayo Aboyeji, said Tanker Drivers seen on Lagos roads especially on traffic or gridlock, did not park, but trapped on their ways to lift products from tank farms.

According to him, “Most fuel depots outside Lagos are in full operations so tanker drivers have no reason to come to Lagos. Those that are loading in Lagos and its environs, if you go to Ogere along Ibadan Expressway in Ogun State, you will see them park there waiting for calls for them to come and load. However, the problem is that as they get to Lagos, on their way to the tank farms, they are trapped because of the activities of articulated trucks going to the ports. Our members are just victims of the congestion on the roads to the tank farms.

“The problem can only be solved if the ports in Lagos are de-congested. It is not about bad roads, it is purely about the volume of traffic going and coming out of the ports. If and when the roads are fixed, and the ports are not decongested, the gridlock will continue. Government should ensure that other ports in the country such as Calabar, Onne, Port Harcourt and Warri are patronized by diverting ships to them.

If government does not address the volume of traffic to Lagos ports, the gridlock will remain irrespective of ad-hoc and other fire brigade approaches. So, nobody should blame the tanker drivers. They are not the cause of the gridlock. Like I said, those you see on the traffic or gridlock are simply trapped on their way to the tank farms to lift products.”

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