The Minister of State for Defence, Senator Musiliu Obanikoro has disclosed that there were plans to relocate the tank farms along the Oshodi/Apapa expressway as a way of finding a lasting solution to the unending gridlock.
Obanikoro made this known yesterday in Lagos, during his visit to Oshodi/Apapa expressway. He also urged the Lagos State Government to provide a permanent parking bay for trucks, from where drivers could be reached.
The minister explained that the visit became pertinent following the security implication of allowing trucks to use the road as a park.
He, however, applauded steps taken by the Western Naval Command (WNC), to ease the flow of traffic along the expressway, including other areas witnessing gridlock but added that the WNC’s effort might not be a permanent one since it was not its constitutional duty to control traffic.
“I am here to familiarise myself with the activities of the Nigeria Navy around the Ports area because I know that for some time now, we have been looking at the security implication of allowing trailers and trucks to use the road as a park.
“There are plans and we are also working with all stakeholders to ensure that the threat to this corridor is kept under check. It is not easy to just close all these tank farms overnight. What is important now is to call for more vigilance on the part of all the operators.
“I want to assure you that all the security agencies in the country are aware and alert to what is at stake and everything humanly possible is being done to avert any calamity.
“I am happy that, so far, all those trucks have been moved and passage way created so that there could be free vehicular movement around the ports, thus eliminating the security implication of just having trucks and containers littering the entire road.
“This is largely due to the effort of the Western Naval Command’s ability to engage all the stakeholders.”
Obanikoro stated the federal government was doing its best to handle the situation, pointing out that part of its effort was the ongoing construction of a parking bay for trucks at Tin-Can Island Port.
He, therefore, said that this was not time to trade blames but a time for the Lagos State Government to partner with the Nigerian Ports Authority and other stakeholders to find a lasting solution to the situation.
“I am not going to join Lagos State Government in the blame game. What is important to me is that all of us have a responsibility to the good people of this country and particularly Lagos state.”