The Lagos State Government on Thursday issued a final warning to port operators, especially petroleum tanker drivers and container truck drivers to vacate the Mile-2 axis of the Oshodi-Apapa expressway, even as it has set its task force to begin arrests of defaulters.
At a stakeholders meeting held on Thursday, the government directed truckers to make use of the Ahmed Bola Tinubu Trailer Park at Orile-Iganmu, and three other identified parks, apart from various private holding-bays and leave based on call-up system that should be resuscitated after been abandoned at Mile-2 axis of Apapa.
The other Truck Parks made available to truckers are: Bellington and Daven Parks among privately operated Holding-Bays around Apapa.
State Commissioner for Transportation, Oluwaseun Osiyemi; Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Sola Giwa, and Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Engr. Abdulafiz Toriola, led government delegation at the stakeholders’ meeting.
Reading the riot act on the new order to ensure sanity, the commissioner, harped that, “Enough is enough,” over gridlock, recklessness and indiscipline around Apapa axis.
Osiyemi, after getting the voice agreement with stakeholders at the meeting, said: “The present administration led by Governor Sanwo-Olu is passionate and determined to make life more meaningful, devoid of stress for Lagosians and visitors. It is very important for us to embrace this new order and project.
“There must be willingness from all side because the government doesn’t want to engage in force. What we are trying to achieve is for the good of the general public for a long term effect and not a temporary measure.
“Commerce must be restored in this area without further hindrances. We are appealing to you the stakeholders to key into this new order of orderliness and discipline.
“There is the need for paradigm shift in the way of doing of doing business in and around Apapa. It’s not about fighting but about mutual cooperation.
“We are setting up an 8-man committee to ensure implementation, enforcement, compliance and monitoring of the new order immediately.
“We (government) have made available the ABAT Trailer Parks, and others as parking lots for truckers pending when they will be call-up for loading at their various ports and tank farms.
“Any operator found to violate this new arrangement and agreement would be dealt with accordingly. There are two components of this agreement; The use of truck parks, load-Bay, and the use of Call-Up System to ensure orderliness on the road. It is no longer business as usual. Enough is enough. This is a final warning to operators.”
Also speaking, Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Sola Giwa, who recalled that several efforts and interventions launched in the past to restore sanity in the axis which had been met with defiance, reiterated the need to comply with the new order.
Giwa said: “There are lot of truckers who do not have business on the road. We have given our directive to get this addressed with immediate effect. There is no timeline to get the gridlock off. The time is now.
“We are sending out taskforce after them henceforth and it’s going to be a total showdown with defaulters henceforth.
“There are over 75 per- cent of wet cargoes taking off products from Lagos to other regions, this is necessary but there must be decorum henceforth. And this we have to do it together.
“We are working to get some of the bad road fixed soon. We are just waiting for clement weather to be in place as the rainy season is almost off which had been delaying rehabilitation work.”