*reiterates support for Presidential Task Force to clear Apapa Gridlock
By AUSTIN OWOICHO, Abuja
The Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG) has appealed to Lagos State Government to help in rehabilitation of the Bola Ahmed Tinubu truck park at Orile to discongest trucks in Apapa.
Mr Tayo Aboyeji, Chairman, NUPENG Lagos made the appeal in Lagos on Saturday against backdrop of NUPENG support for the Presidential Task Force to clear the Apapa gridlock.
Aboyeji said that the development of the Orile park will bring permanent solution to all traffic problem been experiencing in Apapa. President Muhammadu Buhari has issued a-72 hour ultimatum to truck drivers that parked along Apapa, Lagos road to vacate.
The President noted that the vacation would help in clearing the Apapa gridlock and help in restoring law and order to Apapa and its environs.
According to Aboyeji, tanker are making use of the park but the rail line from mile 2 to CMS has taken half of it park and the place is not accessible to trucks.
“NUPENG is absolutely in support of clean up of Apapa gridlock. We equally support all the measure been put in place by presidential taskforce in free Apapa gridlock.
” The park will contain about 6, 000 trucks when completed the ongoing rehabilitation by State government.
” We (tanker drivers) has not been part of the problem but whatever measure we shall cooperate with government,” he said.
Aboyeji urged the Presidential taskforce to disband all checking points initiated by security agents to allow the free flow of traffic.
He said that NUPENG will not condone any act of extortion from all illegal check points on Apapa routes.
It would be recalled that notice issued by the President reads, “A Presidential directive has been issued for the immediate clearing up of the Apapa gridlock and the restoration of law and order to Apapa and its environs within 2 weeks.
“The directive mandates the immediate removal of all trucks from the bridges and roads within Apapa and all adjoining streets leading into the Apapa axis.
“To facilitate this important assignment, operators of trucks and tankers have also been directed to vacate the Port Access Roads within the next 72 hours.
“The meeting proffered lasting solutions to the gridlock around the Lagos Ports, as the traffic congestion has continued to restrict all operations and livelihood in the area.”
A Presidential Taskforce, chaired by Osinbajo was established to ensure the restoration of law and order to the area within two weeks.
The Taskforce, “will report directly to the President, has included on its Terms of Reference the development of an efficient and effective management plan for the entire port area traffic.
The terms also includes the cargo, fuel distribution and business district traffic; enforcing the permanent removal of all stationary trucks on the highway.
Others includes the development of an effective manual truck call-up system, pending the introduction of the electronic truck call-up system and the implementation of a workable Empty Container Return and Export Container Truck Handling Policy, amongst others.