Truck drivers kick as repairs linger on Apapa, TinCan ports link roads
The Federal Controller of Works in Lagos, Kayode Popoola, has said the ministry is yet to secure approval for the construction work to be carried out on the failed portion of the Ijora/Breweries axis along the Apapa ports road.
Popoola stated this while reacting to threats by the Maritime Truck Owners Association of Nigeria (AMATO) to embark on industrial action over the deplorable state of the access roads.
The truckers had issued a week ultimatum from Friday, November 12, 2021, for the government to fix the roads, which they described as death and accident traps where trucks carrying loaded containers and fuel tanks keep falling on a daily basis.
They said traffic robbers are also taking advantage of the bad state of the roads to rob motorists at gunpoint and sometimes, burgle and divert containers.
The Guardian observed that incidents of container trucks falling along the deplorable Berger axis have become a daily occurrence, as the truck drivers sustain injuries from the fall, while pedestrians and bike operators have to be vigilant in order not to be buried under the fallen containers.
Also the Mile 2 road is in deplorable condition with road users at the risk of containers falling on them.
Speaking to journalists yesterday, Popoola appealed for calm from the truck drivers, assuring that efforts are ongoing to get the federal government’s approval for permanent construction of the road.
“We are waiting for the approval of the proposal for permanent work to be done on the site. That was why we did palliative the last time but unfortunately, the rain has been heavy in the past few months and that is why when we do palliatives, it does not last but permanent work will soon be carried out when it is approved.
“We can’t say when the approval will come. My own is to send the proposal to headquarters, they will then process it and approve it. I cannot say the exact time when they will approve it but I am sure they are processing it.
“There is no need for the truckers to embark on strike. The Federal Government is doing its best to make sure that all the roads are in good condition despite rising financial commitments. You know what comes in now in terms of revenue yet the federal government is trying to fix the infrastructure that has decayed over the years. They should please bear with the federal government; there is no need to go on strike. At least if you look around, there are a lot of projects that are going on. If they now go on strike, are they encouraging the federal government?” he queried.
On the rehabilitation work on the Apapa/ Oshodi road, Popoola said the work is going on steadily, while the second section of the Tin Can port road has been awarded for work to commence.