Tank Farm Operators Lament Slow Pace of Work at Sunrise-Coconut Road Rehabilitation

...Say Buhari not interested in project

Petroleum tank farm stakeholders at the popular Ibru-Ibafon jetty along Apapa-Oshodi expressway in Lagos have lamented the slow pace at which the rehabilitation works on the dilapidated Sunrise-Coconut axis of the road is being handled, they stressed the need to expedite action and save them from incurring losses.

An official at the Ibru Jetty, Mr. Olanife Adeoye in a chat with Shipping Position Daily last week in Lagos also said that the stakeholders have been informed that President Muhammadu Buhari is not interested in the road project because past administration of Goodluck Jonathan had awarded the contract few years ago, but it was never completed.

Shipping Position Daily recalls that a group under the aegis of Committee of Directors (COD), Ibru Complex, Ibafon, Apapa in Lagos had in March 2018 commenced the repairs of the dilapidated portions of the Apapa-Oshodi expressway on Corporate Social Responsibility (CRS) basis.

The group, which comprises of tank farm owners operating at the Ibru Jetty and other business enterprises in Ibafon, said it has so far provided N222.5 million for the construction which includes the main carriageway of the expressway and feeder roads from Sunrise to Coconut Bus Stop.

But, speaking with our correspondent last week, Mr. Adeoye condemned the contractor for the project, Segulat Nigeria Limited for acting too slow. According to him, a portion of the service lane from Capital Oil depot to Integrated Oil depot which he claimed should not have taken more than five days has now lasted for four months.

He lamented that due to the construction, more revenue is now being lost to tank farm operators as all petroleum tankers, container trucks and other road users are now lumped up to use a single lane, thereby making it difficult to load products at the depots.

“The road has not improved, they have not completed any lane, they started in front of Capital oil and they are still there, for the past four months, from Coconut to Sunrise, the rate of work there is damn too slow, for more than four months they could not finish a lane”“From Capital oil down to Coconut Bridge for the past four months has not been fixed, what could have been done within five days.

“We know that the people in charge are private individuals, so probably they could not muster funds, but the contractor that took that project is not actually a contractor”

“I don’t know if it is money disturbing them. They don’t have equipment, if it was Julius Berger, they would have moved all the wastes they brought out from the drainage to their yard because it is useful in the future, they would have brought already made square and concrete to sight”, he said.

Our correspondent recalls that in 2014, the Goodluck Jonathan administration ordered Construction Company, Messrs Julius Berger Nigeria Plc to take over the construction works of the Coconut-Tin Can portion of the expressway from another company; Borni Prono who was failing at the time.

Government awarded the contract for the reconstruction of Phase 2 of Oshodi/Apapa Expressway to Julius Berger at the cost of about N15 billion. The company was directed to do a concrete surfacing to ensure that the work lasts for at least 25 years.

Adeoye however told our correspondent that four years down the line, President Buhari was not happy because the contract was said to have been awarded and money was issued few years ago but the project was not implemented.

“So the President would not be interested in the road again. The road was awarded but it was not completed, the construction did not get to Coconut, it was shoddily done, yet money has been paid. Julius Berger handled from Ilasa to Sunrise, but Boroni Prono did from Sunrise to Coconut but it was not completed, they just did it to Warehouse bus stop”

“The situation is currently challenging because all the tankers, trucks, motorcycle and motorists are all using the same lane, the main lane has been closed for four months now, so everyone is using the service lane and vehicles cannot get to the depot on time, we have customers coming to load but they cannot get to the depot on time