Apapa gridlock: Lagos ultimatum to tanker drivers won’t work, says NUPENG

The harrowing experience of Lagos motorists and commuters, arising from the fuel scarcity and gridlock on roads may not end anytime soon.

South-West Chairman of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, Tokunbo Korodo said the trucks causing the gridlock may not leave the roads soon as directed by the Lagos State Government.

Korodo told newsmen in Lagos yesterday that only three depots out of over 50 in Lagos had petroleum products to dispense.

The development had compelled hundreds of trucks to head for the three depots to lift oil. He said that the development was the key reason for the unprecedented traffic jam that had locked down Lagos in recent days.

The Lagos State Commissioner for Transportation, Kayode Opeifa, had on Wednesday chaired a meeting with the stakeholders in the oil industry where the government directed the tankers and trucks to vacate the bridges and roads.

“No tanker should be seen on Eko, Liverpool and Coconut among other bridges. “By Thursday, the tanker owners should make one lane available for motorists to use pending the expiration of the ultimatum for enforcement to begin,” the commissioner said.

The stakeholders at the meeting are NUPENG, Petroleum Tankers Drivers (PTD), National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO) and Independent Petroleum Markers Association of Nigeria (IPMAN),

Residents in Nigeria’s economic capital have faced tough times, trying to buy gasoline and their woes have been made worse by a lock-jam on most roads in the city.

Korodo named the three depots currently having oil as Capital Oil and Gas Tank Farm, Ibeto Oil and Gas Tank farm and Integrated Oil and Gas Tank Farm, all in Apapa.

He said the gridlock could ease if trucks queuing for oil would load and leave Lagos by weekend. But such scenario is not likely, according to observers.

Korodo suggested that the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) should decentralise loading of petroleum products to ease the pressure on Lagos. According to him, that is the only way Lagos residents can get reprieve from the gridlock, which has forced transport fares and cost of foodstuff up.

Meanwhile, many Lagos residents, including women and children resorted to trekking distances to get to their schools, businesses and places of work. Residents of Mushin, Ojuelegba, Surulere and Constain-Apapa areas found it impossible to commute to Lagos Island because of a total lock-down at Costain Roundabout.

Some motorists abandoned their vehicles on roads after finding it impossible to cope with the stress of making their trips.

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