Coming on the heels of a fire outbreak along Amowu Odofin Link Bridge in Festac Town Lagos which destroyed over 20 vehicles excluding commercial vehicles and Motorcycle, an automobile dealer has accused the numerous tank farms in Lagos to be the major cause of the incidence.
A petroleum tanker transporting 33,000 litres of petrol had tumbled around the bridge last week thereby spilling its content. Speaking with Shipping Position Daily, one of the dealers along the axis, Mr. Nnamdi Nwabueze, said that the estimate of the cars that were involved to be over N20million adding that it will be difficult for him to give the exact amount as he was not the owner of the shop that was involved.
“The problem is all these refineries and tank farms in Lagos making everybody to cluster here in Lagos state to buy one product or the other. The government should relocate some of these things there by decongesting the state. If the refineries in other parts of the country are working well I don’t see the reason why all of them would be coming to Lagos to buy products”
He also said, “Over 20 vehicles were involved including Okada most of them are fairly used cars. The name of the space is Nwaugo motors. I cannot tell exactly how much the cost of the damaged cars is because it is not the same type of cars. They are of different brands and prices, there are some of N6m, N5m, N4m, N3.5m, N2m and w also have some commercial vehicles that were on that spot and they all got burnt. You see it is difficult for me to estimate how much was involved it is only the owner that can say that. The fire was caused by a tanker that was loaded with diesel coming out from satellite depot. The tanker was going outside the area and it wanted to climb the bridge and the truck started rolling back and the car stand is just before that bridge and there were people selling upholstery beside the car stand. And as the thing rolled back the truck crashed with a coming vehicle and the thing caught fire. The owner of the vehicles expectation and the vehicles has burn beyond recognition so it will be difficult to dictate who owns the vehicle”
He also lamented lack of fund among the challenges in the sector as the year is coming to an end even as he urged the government to ensure there is one exchange rate in the country.
“We have encountered a lot of challenges this year, before now people always come to buy vehicles in large number but they are no longer coming like that. There should be single exchange rate for people in this country. You know right now that the rate you buy a Dollar in the market is different from the amount you buy in the bank and that is not good for our business. Some buy at N350, 250 and all that. This does not affect the car dealers alone”
On what the association is doing about the incidence he said the association is yet to meet to know the way forward.