Lagos – Determined to rid Lagos, its commercial nerve centre of traffic menace, Nigeria’s Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) said on Thursday that it will not hesitate to shut any depot that still has trucks on the Lagos Apapa roads.
Speaking at the DPR (Lagos Zonal Office) 2017 Annual General Meeting (AGM) which had in attendance stakeholders in the downstream oil sector, Its Director, Mordecai Ladan, gave the warning that parking on the road is against the rule in the petroleum industry.
“Government has the power to shut down operators among other punitive measures for defaulters,” Ladan said.
The Apapa axis of Lagos has witnessed perennial traffic congestion resulting from the activities of users of the seaports and petroleum depots around it, particularly cargo and oil trucks. Attempts by successive governments to rid the narrow dual carriage road of the congestion has been unsuccessful.
Recently the Dangote group, a major player at the port opted to undertake the reconstruction of the roads in the axis in partnership with the federal government. Although the work has commenced it added to the traffic congestion, which has affected business activities and the ordinary citizen whose time is wasted on the roads.
Lagos is Nigeria’s most industrialized and commercial city and arguably the most populous city in the country and indeed Africa, with a population of more than 25 million.
Ladan said bad roads and inadequate infrastructure have contributed to the gridlock, arguing that the refusal of depot operators to abide by the laid-down rules has further complicated the problems.
The Director told the depot operators to prevent the wrath of the law falling on them by obeying laid down rules in the industry.
He said: “For example, all trucks now proceed directly to the depots to queue up for loading instead of staying at the holding bays to be invited when it is their turn to load. Let me reiterate that this practice encouraged by the depot operators is contrary to the terms of their licenses.
“I therefore wish to remind all depot operators that part of the conditions of their licences is that every depot should operate a holding bay, where trucks are required to park and wait until it is their turn to load at the depots.
“We are partnering with Lagos State government to ensure that operators strictly abide by the rules, for general safety and decongestion of the depot area.”