By Monsuru Olowoopejo
LAGOS—THE contractor handling the 1000-capacity truck terminal in Orile are of Lagos State has withdrawn workers and major equipments from the site, leaving the construction work at a critical time, Vanguard has gathered.
The project, seen as solution to the gridlock that had crippled commercial activities in Apapa and Tin Can ports, was expected to have been completed in October, 2018.
Recall that Governor Akinwumi Ambode flagged off the project on August 5th, assuring motorists that work would be completed within eight weeks.
The move is to end indiscriminate parking of trucks on highways.
When Vanguard visited the site, it was gathered that the contractor, Planet Project, has re-deployed its staff and removed major equipments from site about a month ago.
It was learned that construction works did not start on the project until about four weeks after the governor flagged off the project.
Despite starting the project behind schedule, Vanguard gathered that the contractor spent several weeks excavating the top soil from the site.
It was also gathered that the contractor failed to deploy the needed heavy equipment to site early.
It was further learned that after commencement, persistent rainfall slowed down the pace of work on the terminal.
A source, who pleaded anonymity, told Vanguard that: “For the places that have been filled with sands, we excavated deep into the soil by 1.5 meters. The reason is that we believe at that point, we would have gotten the best soil for construction of the truck terminal.”
Contractor left site when we needed him most—Amato
Confirming Vanguard’s investigation, President, Association of Maritime Truck Owners, AMATO, Chief Remi Ogungbemi, lamented that a month after the State Government promised to deliver the park, meaningful progress weren’t achieved yet.
The Amato President said that the contractor left site when they had anticipated that their suffering would end with construction of the terminal.
Ogungbemi said: “We were happy that the state governor flagged off expansion of the terminal to accommodate more trucks. But as I speak with you, the contractor has removed their equipment from site. They have not completed one-quarter of the job and they have left site.
“I don’t know the reason for their action but they left at the time when we are expecting them to complete the project. We are not happy that our trucks are on the bridges because those bridges could collapse.”