Lagos State Government Thursday issued a four-day ultimatum to all articulated vehicle drivers to desist from unauthourised parking along Apapa-Oshodi expressway or face harsh punitive measures.
The gridlock caused by the tankers has virtually brought to a halt economic activities on the axis, forcing the closure of many businesses.
The state government issued the ultimatum after an emergency meeting with the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD) and Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria (RTEAN) Wednesday night.
The state Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Kayode Opeifa, who led his counterpart in the Local Government Ministry, Mr. Ademorin Kuye, and Chairman of the state Taskforce on Special Offence Unit, Mr. Bayo Sulaiman, to the meeting, said enforcement would commence next Monday.
Opeifa said the state government could no longer watch and fold its arms to allow such display of lawlessness in the state, adding that the tanker and trailer drivers who failed to comply would have their vehicles towed.
He said the state government “wants you to do business but it does not want you to inconvenient others. Enough is enough. We want to make sure the Apapa expressway, all through to Ijora bridge is free of traffic”.
“We want to see that the road that leads to Tin Can is also free and that the police station at Ijora to Port is free of traffic. We want to see that tankers on Creek Road are evacuated so that the road can be free,” he added.
He added that “all shanties under Liverpool bridge should be cleared. We seek your cooperation to ensure that your people remove their vehicles from the road. Those people whose towing vehicles have broken down on the road should also remove them”.
According to him, “we want to fix Wharf road, Creek road and the Apapa-Oshodi expressway. We also want access to Beach land estate. Vehicles obstructing residents’ movement to the estate should be removed.” Opeifa said the taskforce, officials of the Kick against Indiscipline (KAI), the state Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), and other government agencies had been fully mobilised for the onslaught on the tanker drivers if they failed to evacuate their vehicles from the road by Sunday midnight.
Last Sunday, Fashola visited Apapa area and expressed disgust at the high level of nuisance perpetrated by the tanker and trailer drivers and vowed to dislodge them to allow smooth flow of traffic in the area.
Also speaking, Sulaiman said all routes to Apapa must be free, adding that tanker drivers should not cultivate the habit of parking their vehicles on the road as his men were ready to swing into action. But Kuye appealed to people trading under the bridge at Liverpool to vacate the area as the place was known to harbour criminal elements in the state.
He said tanker and trailers drivers should not endanger the lives of people in the area as Apapa served as one of the hub of business activities of the nation.
It was gathered that representatives of the various unions at the emergency meeting agreed to comply with the ultimatum issued by the government.