Truck Drivers get 48 hours ultimatum to vacate Lagos roads

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The Lagos State government and the military have handed out a 48-hour ultimatum to truck owners, whose vehicles have lined up roads in the state to move them or face the full weight of the law.

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The decision was the outcome of the meeting with stakeholders, especially truck owners, tank farm owners and members of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), which was convened to find a lasting solution to the problems of traffic on Lagos roads, particularly in Apapa, Mile 2, Ijora and Kirikiri.

Speaking during the meeting, the representative of the Lagos State government and Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transport, Mr. Taiwo Olufemi, lamented the parking of heavy duty trucks on bridges within the state.

He lamented the inflow and heavy presence of articulated vehicles into the Lagos Apapa Quays, explaining that the port was build for only 30 million metric tons of cargo but now carries 80 million metric tons.

He said there was need to clean up Apapa no matter whose ox is gored.

Earlier, the Flag Officer Commanding Western Naval Command, Rear Admiral Slyvanus Abbah who was chairman of the meeting lamented the influx of tankers and trailers, explaining that terrorists could take advantage of the chaos to attack Lagos.

Apart from the environmental hazards caused by the trucks who park indiscriminately on bridges, he explained that in a situation of national emergency, the reaction time for the military could be hampered.

For instance, he said that to move troops from Navy town in Kirikiri to Apapa, which ordinarily should take 25 minutes may take up to two hours due to the gridlock caused by trucks who spend days waiting for their turn to load fuel.

The Nigeria Customs Service in Sokoto has intercepted another petrol tanker conveying 446 jerrycans of vegetable oil. The seizure is coming barely a week after the interception of a truck loaded with 460 bags of foreign rice with a duty value of N7.8 million.

Briefing reporters in Sokoto yesterday, the area comptroller in charge of Sokoto, Kebbi and Zamfara states, Mr. Nasir Ahmed, confirmed that the vegetable oil, with a duty value of N5.7 million, was concealed in a petrol tanker.

He disclosed that the jerrycans of vegetable oil were intercepted along Sokoto/Gusau road by the command’s surveillance team.

His words: “This is very new to me, that jerry cans of vegetable oil are loaded into a tanker that is supposed to be carrying petrol. I am sure they are not only running away from Customs, but also from NAFDAC because you can see there are no labels nor NAFDAC certification.

“Though we believe it is vegetable oil, it would still be subjected to NAFDAC test, to determine what is actually inside.”

Ahmed also disclosed that the truck driver and his escort, who were arrested in connection with the contraband, were assisting the command in its investigations.

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