Lagos Gives Tankers 48-Hour Ultimatum To Vacate Eko Bridge, Mile 2 | Independent Newspapers Limited
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Lagos Gives Tankers 48-Hour Ultimatum To Vacate Eko Bridge, Mile 2

Posted: May 14, 2015 at 1:45 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

By Ekene Okoro



The Lagos State Government on Wednesday, issued a 48-hour ultimatum to tanker drivers parked within 300 meters to fuel depots in the state to leave the highway, pending the availability of fuel commodity for loading.

With the lingering fuel scarcity, hundreds of tankers have taken over the Eko Bridge down to Apapa and on the Mile 2 Expressway queuing endlessly to load fuel, currently said to be unavailable.

The situation has left other motorists with no option than to navigate the area with just one lane, a situation that forces them to endure at least six hours to and fro the area on a daily basis.

The decision to ask tanker drivers within 200 and 300 meter away from the depots to leave the road was arrived at after a meeting officials of the state government had with National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Petroleum Tankers Drivers (PTD), NARTO and other unions in Ikeja, Lagos.

Commissioner for Transportation, Comrade Kayode Opeifa, said the agreement reached at the end of the meeting was for 48 hours grace to be given to tanker drivers queuing between 200 and 300 meters to the fuel depots to leave Lagos pending the availability of the commodity.

He said information available from the marketers revealed that there was no fuel in the depots to be lifted by the tankers queuing up for them and that as such, some of the tankers should leave Lagos.

The commissioner also said that no tanker should be seen on Eko Bridge down to Liverpool or before Coconut on Apapa Expressway, adding that before today (Thursday), the tanker owners must make one lane available for motorists to be plying pending the expiration of the ultimatum for enforcement to begin.

He said the enforcement would be done by the various unions in the axis with the support of the state government, police and Federal Road Safety Corps, saying that any tanker who fails to comply would be fined and would not be released until such fines had been paid.

The commissioner decried the untold hardship residents of Apapa and those working in the area were made to pass through on daily basis as a result of the blockage of the expressway by tanker drivers waiting to lift fuel that are not available.

He appealed to NUPENG, PTD and NARTO to ensure that the agreement reached was not breached, saying that by Friday afternoon, government would move in to the axis to begin enforcement, but noted that the option of persuasion would be exploited rather than towing of defaulting tankers.

Opeifa added that the marketers and major operators in the area had agreed to come out with a programming and ticketing method that would allow only tanker meant to lift fuel at a particular point in time were allowed within the axis.

He said with this development, traffic gridlock in Apapa, Ijora and neighbouring areas would have eased, appealing to residents of Apapa to exercise patience.