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Maritime truckers petition Sanwo-Olu over impounded vehicles

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Haulage service providers, under the aegis of the Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), has petitioned the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, to intervene in the indiscriminate towage of vehicles waiting to discharge empty containers at various depots within the state.

The group, in a petition signed by President, AMATO, Remi Odugbemi, lamented how members of the Removal of Abandoned Vehicle Committee (RAVC) usually swoop, impound and slam outrageous bills on trucks.

He said recently, members of RAVC came and towed away some trucks that queued to drop empty containers at FANO bonded terminal at Amuwo Odofin and thereafter slammed the trucks with outrageous fines to secure the release.

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“It is very important to note that trucks that were towed by RAVC around empty container depots are not abandoned trucks as a result of mechanical failure or absence of drivers. They are trucks that are on a moving traffic to drop empty containers and return to their garage or ports to load cargoes.

“Even if the trucks are obstructing traffic, towing should not be the solution. Rather, LASTMA can be deployed to manage and control the movement of trucks within the vicinity of empty container depots at the expense of owners of the depots,” he stated.

The group, however, called for the unconditional release of all the trucks towed by RAVC, urging that towing of trucks should be properly defined to mean trucks that mechanically breakdown or seen to be truthfully abandoned.

Odugbemi said the indiscriminate towing of vehicles has an adverse economic effect on businesses.

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Meanwhile, the Federal Director of Highway Construction and Rehabilitation in the Ministry of Works, Funso Adebiyi, said the Apapa-Oshodi-Oworonshoki Expressway would be completed in December this year.

The Director, Press, at the Ministry of Works, Boade Akinola, in a statement quoted Adebiyi as saying, “Overall, 61 per cent has been achieved as of today, in the first phase covering 27km of this ever-busy road project.

“On section 1, we have achieved about 70 per cent completion; and on section 3, we have achieved 63 per cent. Section 4 has recorded about 41 per cent, which means work is going on in that section. The contract for section 2 has been awarded and work would commence there soon.”

Adebiyi said the road had been in a deplorable state before the intervention of the federal government through the Ministry of Works and Housing. He added, “We are making progress and I can assure you that by the end of this year, Apapa port users would have the best road because we have made significant progress” He added that the gridlock being experienced on the road was not due to the construction but due to the illegal parking of trailer drivers on the bridge.

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