…LASG says Apapa will open to traffic by October***
The National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has said that the planned strike by Petroleum Tanker Drivers in Lagos would start on Monday as its meeting with Lagos State Government ended in deadlock.
The South-West Chairman of NUPENG, Mr Tayo Aboyeji, confirmed this in Lagos on Sunday, adding that the issues which forced the drivers to initiate an indefinite strike were not addressed during the four-hour meeting with officials of Lagos State Government on Sunday.
“They only promised to get back to us after we have told them what we want to avert the strike.
“Now, our standstill remains that they should address the issues of extortion and harassment of our members by security agents.
“Security agents and hoodlums are extorting our members and officials of the Lagos State Traffic Management use taser on our drivers and this can kill.
“Since they are not ready to address these issues, we will start the strike on Monday morning until they are able to resolve them.
“It is unfortunate that the strike might affect all other states in the federation because most of them load their petroleum products in Lagos depots.
“We are not happy to disrupt fuel supply because we know the effect but we cannot continue to cope with the problems,” he said.
Aboyeji said that members of PTD were now accusing NUPENG of taking side with security agents to molest and assault drivers on Lagos roads.
The National President of the NUPENG, Mr Williams Akporeha, had in a statement on Friday directed tanker drivers to begin the withdrawal of their services as from 12:midnight on Monday.
In the meantime, the Lagos State Government says all roads and bridges under construction in Apapa, the nation’s port city, will be completed by October.
Gov. Babajide Sanwo-Olu gave the assurance on Sunday during an inspection tour of roads and bridges under construction in Apapa area of Lagos.
Sanwo-Olu said that the traffic gridlocks experienced in the axis would be cleared once the projects were completed.
The governor visited the Costain bridge, Alaka bridge, Ijora bridge, Marine bridge, Liverpool, Lillypond and Mile 2, among others.
He said that there was a need to overhaul the entire Apapa road network to improve journey time in and out.
”We need to work in a methodological order and see how we redevelop the whole of Apapa.
”The construction going on is expensive because they are all concrete roads, we have Liverpool and Creek roads all completed.
”I understand that by October, all these networks of roads will be opened up to traffic,” Sanwo-Olu said.
He said that the state, in collaboration with the Nigerian Ports Authority, was building another port in Lekki, which would be ready in two years time, to ease the pressure on Apapa.
He said that the government was also in discussion with stakeholders and some private owners to create proper holding bay and with the call system to get trucks out of the way and free the roads for easy movement.
”We need to use this opportunity to appeal to all operators to see how they can formalise themselves in a way which we can have a better orderly society.
”Effect of what they are doing is not only affecting the citizens, it is also affecting our way of life.
”People living in this environ are complaining on daily basis that they are not having the best of time just because the port is here.
”We are working with various stakeholders and need to synergise to understand what their challenges are and how best to address them.
”As a government, we have commitment and sense of responsibility to our people and must bring about an operation in efficiency system where we do not continue to experience the permanent gridlock that is typical of Apapa.
”We want to also be able to regenerate the improvement of the roads and bring proper life back to Apapa,” Sanwo-Olu said.