Two container laden trucks collided in front of Integrated Oil tank farm at the Coconut axis of the Apapa-Oshodi expressway in Lagos last week, the accident happened as one of the trucks was speeding on one-way traffic.
Fresh indications have emerged that most petroleum marketers operating in Apapa Oshodi have truck parks acquired at Ogun state, but they have refused to invest and develop them.
Strong sources in the downstream sector confirmed to Shipping Position Daily that some of the tank farm owners are being frustrated by the Ogun State Government and its residents who do not want the traffic gridlock to be transferred to the state, while Lagos State collects all the revenue.
Also, some of the petroleum tanker drivers who throng Apapa port on daily basis told Shipping Position Daily correspondent that the major truck park for trucks is at Ogere in Ogun State and that this is already filled to capacity and it is inadequate.
While lamenting the refusal of tank farm owners to build holding bays, one of the operators at Folawiyo Depot at Creek Road, Comrade Moses Agbede confirmed that operators are aware that many of the depot owners have acquired land in Ogun State for sole purpose of constructing holding bays. He however lamented their inability to carry out the project.
“They built a lot of tank farms all around but they never build truck parks”
“Before now, they promised to build a park at Ogere and that trucks would come in there and they would be called to the tank farms, however this has not had any effect, many of the tank farms have truck parks at Ogere, but it is not functioning because it is mere propaganda”
Speaking in the same vein, Hyginus Omeje, the Lagos State Sector Commander of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) noted that most of the tank farm operators having the challenge of lack of truck parks are the independent petroleum marketers.
The FRSC Commander stated that lack of holding bay by all the depots operators and independent marketers is a major threat to operations in Apapa.
According to him, “the major marketers are not the problem, you will not see Mobil trucks outside, you will not see Total Trucks outside, and you will not see Oando. It is the Independent Marketers. In all the tank farms, where are the holding bays? No holding bay. So the vehicles come and line on the road”
“These tank farms are supposed to have holding bays and they can only take what their holding bays can take. So if we have to address it holistically, the issue of holding bay must be addressed” he said.
Meanwhile, the Lagos State Government has said that it would continue to interface with other state governments on the need to help rescue Lagos state from the current traffic log jam as a result of petroleum tankers and trucks.
The State’s Acting Commissioner for Transportation, Prince Olanrewaju Elegushi said recently at a joint briefing with Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMARTO) that “what we need to do is to keep on engaging with them, we keep on engaging with other states and so on. I mean people who have trucks in other states and already know that there is a logjam in Lagos, why send other trucks to Lagos?
“While clearing the mess that the Lagos State Government did not cause, can people not consider it logical to wait for a few days for us to clear this and this is the reason why we are saying that trucks should stay away from Lagos in the interim”
In the interim, the Government, however, urged the operators to utilise the Ogere Trailer Park and other parks outside the state to avoid further hardship for motorists on the road, assuring that all measures would be deployed to ensure a quick resolution of the situation.