The illegal parking of petrol tankers along the streets of Lagos is becoming worrisome. Residents in Lagos especially in areas where these trucks are parked have continued to express their displeasure over this horrible situation. Some truck drivers constitute nuisance on the road causing traffic gridlock and daring anyone to challenge them.
In areas such as Oshodi/Apapa Expressway, Ajegunle, Okokomaiko, Mile 2, Oriade, among others, trucks are permanently parked by the roadside causing heavy gridlock. Some of them deliberately left their terminals to park by the roadside. At times, the roads are completely locked down because of traffic while motorists spend hours on the road, which is so annoying.
At times, more than 30 petrol tankers are parked on the road from Toyota bus-stop to the Airport.
At Oriade local council development area which consist of the Satellite town, Finiger bus-stop by old Ojo, trucks have taken over the road while the traffic spill over to all the major roads in Satellite Town. The affected roads include Marwa road (the major artery) in Satellite, the assembly road, mission road, and Navy gate, Old Ojo by Alakija.
Saturday Vanguard also discovered that a tractor was abandoned on Marwa road by the company that partially reconstructed the road. The abandoned articulated vehicle often cause accident on the narrow road as tankers laden with fuel had to compete for space with other vehicles.
A resident in the area, Mr Charles told Vanguard that the tractor had been abandoned there over six months and had caused several accidents.
According to him, “Vehicles sometimes would run into the articulated tractor, even the local government authorities claimed ignorant of the owner of the tractor and residents are appealing to state government to remove the tractor in order to save lives. The residents are also appealing to the state government to relocate the tankers
“Although Satellite town was originally planned by the federal government as a middle income earner residential area such as civil servants, but oil dealers have now set up their tank farms there which have become a threat to residents of the various estates located in the area”, he added.
Vanguard also discovered that all the roads in the area are in a very bad state.
A motorist, Mr Banjo said the tankers blocked one of the lanes, forcing all other vehicles to use one lane, and causing traffick gridlock in the process. “The tankers are the main cause of the problem here. We would get stuck in the traffic gridlock for more than three hours for a drive that should ordinarily not take more than 15 minutes”, he said
One of the tanker drivers however, said the big challenge the tanker drivers have was lack of parking space.
A lawmaker representing Amuwo Odofin Constituency 1, Dipo Olorunrinu argued that trucks were not parked in Amuwo Odofin but in Oriade local council area. “We have driven all the trucks out of the Apple Junction. I personally ensured that trucks were off that road. I think, I have been a nuisance to the truck drivers so they would not dare park on Amuwo Odofin road.
“Initially, they were parking on the road but after the series of meeting that I had with the tank farm operators in Apapa, it was discovered that the construction terminal along Ajeromi was still in progress and that they have been given a site at the International Trade Fair which has not been cleared, so I encouraged them to clear it”, he said.
The terminal according to him has been cleared and some of the trucks have been moved while others were yet to move.
In his reaction, Akeem Bello representing Amuwo Odofin constituency 2, said the development was uncalled for. “We need the enforcement agencies to address the issue. If they are not chased out of that road, it will damage the road. Trucks are parked on the bridge and this cause traffic gridlock in the process. The truck drivers know the menace caused by parking on the road but they do not care about it. They feel what they are doing is normal”, he said.
In his reaction, chairman, physical and urban planning, Engr. David Setonji, representing Badagry constituency 2, in the Lagos State House of Assembly, lamented the menace caused by trucks parked on the road.
According to him, “it is a bad behaviour on the part of our truck drivers. The state government has consistently been warning against parking of trucks on the road and for truck drivers to adhere strictly to the rules and regulations but, they would not obey. There are some roads which they were not supposed to ply by the daytime because of the risks involved but some of these trucks would still ply the roads. The main problem is that of enforcement on the part of the Nigerian police and other enforcement agencies. We want to encourage them to do what is right.
“Ours is to make law and theirs is to enforce the law. But, when they fail to do what is right, it becomes a problem for us. The government is trying its best in the midst of the challenges at hand and I can assure you that things will get better”, he said.