Motorists Frustrated as Truckers Obstruct Oshodi-Apapa Expressway

Oshodi-Apapa Expressway

In spite of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s recent inauguration of the Lagos State Trucks and Cargo Operation aimed at alleviating traffic congestion and restoring order to access roads leading to ports and Apapa, truck drivers caused a major disruption yesterday by blocking the Mile 2-Oshodi expressway.

This unexpected move resulted in extensive hardships for both motorists and commuters.

While the expressway had experienced temporary relief, trucks and tankers took over the road, effectively shutting down the stretch from Second Rainbow inbound to Mile 2.

Motorists found themselves stranded in traffic for several hours, with the gridlock extending from Cele Bus Stop, Second Rainbow, towards Mile 2 and the Tin-Can Ports.

Despite the presence of security agents and the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) team, they were rendered helpless as truckers parked indiscriminately along the expressway.

Frustrated by the situation, one stranded motorist, identified as Mr. Ojo, criticized Lagos State government officials for what he perceived as a lackluster approach to permanently resolving the gridlock in the area.

Ojo said: “I just got to the office after spending two hours from Fatgbems Filling Station to the office, which is supposed to take just 10 minutes. This is pathetic, and we are having a sitting governor.”

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Attempts to communicate with Sola Giwa, the Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, proved abortive, as he had not responded to text messages sent to his mobile phone at the time of compiling this report.

Following the committee’s inauguration, Commissioner for Transportation Oluwaseun Osiyemi urged Lukman Shittu’s committee to strictly adhere to the state government and ministry’s work guidelines.

The committee’s patron, Chief Remi Ogungbemi, also encouraged truckers to support the initiative by adhering to traffic rules for smoother port operations.

Meanwhile, the Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO) stated that a collaborative effort between truck owners and security agencies would alleviate the chaotic gridlock on Oshodi – Tin-can expressway starting next week.

Addressing the worsening gridlock on the Oshodi-Tin-Can Island port route in a conversation with Vanguard, AMATO Chairman Remi Ogungbemile mentioned that they had conducted numerous joint meetings to devise a solution.

He highlighted the challenge of certain individuals benefiting from the existing problem.

His words: “The challenge there is that a lot of people are benefiting from the route. However, we are putting a necessary plan in place. From next week by God’s grace, we will start the clearing of the road in collaboration with some security agencies.

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“We cannot do it alone, especially with the tankers because we do not want a situation where the containerized trucks will leave the road and the tankers will remain.

“We have agreed together and from next week we will begin to clear the road but we have also requested for security for protection because the people that are benefiting from it will not like that.

“The hoodlums (urchins) who mount road blocks on the Expressway, the non-state actors, state actors and some people who are loyal to some persons in government are the ones benefiting from the problem.”

Mr. Bello Ridwan, the Chairman of the Amalgamation of Container Truck Owners Association of Nigeria (ACTOAN), emphasized that a key solution to the traffic challenges lies in implementing a pre-gate at Brawal specifically for trucks destined for the port.

He highlighted that the truck park positioned opposite Tin-Can 2nd Gate exacerbates the congestion issue. This is attributed to the simultaneous release of a substantial number of trucks to the terminal, leading to gridlock at that section of the road. #Expressway