Thursday, November 29, 2018

Lagos, military give truck drivers 48 hours to vacate bridges 

Lagos, military give truck drivers 48 hours to vacate bridges 
March 08
09:09 2018

The Lagos state government and the military have issued a 48-hour ultimatum for drivers of articulated vehicles/trailers to vacate bridges.

Sylvanus Abbah, flag officer commanding, Western Naval Command, Apapa, said this during a stakeholders meeting on Wednesday.

Abbah said the presence of the trucks on the bridges posed security threats as aerial footage showed that the trucks constitute easy targets for terrorists.

He said the bridges, constructed for moving weight, have weakened due to the consistent static weight on them.

“We do not want to see tankers and trucks parked on the bridges anymore. They have requested for 48 hours to start phasing off their trucks from the bridges and we have obliged,” Abbah said.

“We cannot continue like this. This gridlock from Apapa to Mile Two and then from the stadium up to Eko Bridge does not do anyone good.

“We are going through trying times in the country and the mere presence of these tankers and trucks on our bridges constitute easy targets for terrorists.

“No one knows where and when terrorists strike from. The navy deployed its helicopters on Monday to take aerial footages of the situation and I can tell you it is very worrisome. So many people have lost their lives as a result of this traffic.

“These bridges were constructed in the early the 1970s to carry moving weights not for static vehicles.

“The bridges have since carried more than the weight they were built for. Parking trucks on them could lead to collapse because they weaken the bridges.

Taiwo Salau, permanent secretary, Lagos ministry of transport, blamed the situation on the overstretch of the Apapa port and the absence of loading bays for the trucks.

He said the port was built for 30 million metric tons but was currently importing over 80 billion metric tons, all of which are sent to their destinations by road.

“The bridges were built to carry light load and not heavy weights as they have been subjected to. I am afraid that no bridge in Lagos can stand integrity test,” Salau said.

“I have not seen anywhere in the world, where a port that discharges goods of this capacity does not have rails to move them to loading bays of shipping companies.

“The NPA is also part of the problem. When they take a step forward, they take two backward. There is also the issue of tank farms. This traffic situation is a national calamity.

“Lagos State is staking all to solve it because it is not only Apapa that is affected. The vehicles have entered inner routes and virtually all parts of the state suffer from their action.”


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