Ministry Of Works, NPA Allegedly Abandon Oshodi-Apapa Expressway Road Repair Project 

 Minister of Petroleum Resources, Ibe Kachikwu (R) and the Group Managing Director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) Dr. Maikanti Baru during a press briefing in Abuja last week

Petroleum tanker and maritime truck drivers have raised alarm, saying that they are currently having a bad time navigating through the failed portion of the Apapa-Oshodi expressway opposite Capital Oil tank farm.The operators alleged that the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing have abandoned palliative works around the Capital Oil depot inwards Tin Can Island Port and this has caused difficulty for tankers and trailers passing through the road, and subsequently diverting to drive against traffic coming from Apapa. Speaking with Shipping Position Daily in Lagos last week, Chairman of Dry Cargo Section of the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) Alhaji Innua Muhammed alleged that the deplorable situation of the road around the Capital Oil depot has given rise to security operatives extorting drivers who drive against traffic. He said that drivers part with as much as N4, 000 between Mile 2 and Coconut bus stop just to pass through the road. “The palliative work around Capital Oil Depot has been abandoned by the Federal Ministry of Woks and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), the place is very bad, pot holes have taken over the road and trucks cannot pass through. This situation has given an advantage to security agents; they now allow the trucks to be taking one way right from Berger Mile 2 up to Coconut bus stop going towards Tin Can Port. This has created serious bottleneck, as I am speaking with you now, that place is blocked”“The road is impassable because the road palliative work has been abandoned. The security officials, from what I heard from the drivers, from Mile 2 coming towards Tin Can, they spend as much as N4, 000 to N3, 000, they have stationed themselves there at different locations”“We have called the attention of the consultant to Dangote Construction who is also the former commissioner of Transport in Lagos State, Kayode Opeifa towards the situation, he promised to communicate to the authorities”, Innua stated.Shipping Position Daily correspondent who visited Capital Oil Depot last week noted that about three containers had fell on the road, thereby hindering tanker drivers from accessing the depotSouth West Chairman of NUPENG; Alhaji Tokunbo Korodo also lamented that tanker drivers spend up to six days on the queue before they could access any of the depots  scattered around Ibru and Ibafon jetty to lift products. He also said that after loading, the drivers spend four days trying to find their way out of the area.The NUPENG Chieftain stressed further that it has not augur well for her members operating around the Coconut axis of Apapa and that the union has made its mind known to the Minister of Works, Power and Housing, Babatunde Fashola when he came to flag off the rehabilitation of the Apapa wharf road.Korodo said that if the Wharf Road is shut down for complete one year and there is no palliative on the Tin Can Port access road, the port would be impassable for any vehicle whether small or big. He also warned that if the situation is not properly handled, it would create artificial scarcity.Speaking, he said: “Our members are passing through hell in Apapa, before they get into the depot to load products it takes 6 days, and after the loading, it takes them not less than 4 days before they can get out of Apapa. This is due to the fact that all NNPC depots have not been powered to be loading, it is a big issue, but thanks to God that they have started loading gradually at Mosimi and Ejigbo to supplement the loading from Apapa”