Obafemi Hamzat, the running mate to the Lagos State governorship candidate of the All Progressives Congress (APC), Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has vowed to put an end to the trouble of articulated trucks on Lagos roads.
Lagosians have long complained about how the indiscriminate parking of articulated vehicles, plying the Apapa ports, on roads and bridges have contributed a lot to traffic gridlocks in the state.
While speaking during an interview on Tuesday, February 12, 2019, Hamzat said removing the vehicles from Lagos roads will be a major priority of Sanwo-Olu’s government, if elected.
According to him, the vehicles started parking on the roads because the private owners who acquired the Apapa ports from the government demanded money for parking on the premises.
He said the absence of adequate tank farms where the vehicles can park has also contributed to the problem of leaving them stranded on roads and bridges.
He said, “I think that one is, in my view, one we’ll probably do very quickly. Where were they before? I’ll tell you what happened.“The Federal Government during Jonathan’s time concessioned the port, sold it to private people. So, if you take helicopter and fly over the port today, you’ll see that it’s extremely empty. Majority of those trucks you see, 70% of them are carrying empty containers.
“What used to happen is those empty containers used to be parked inside the port but because it was concessioned, the owners said go out, if you want to park, come and pay.
“The second reason, you know we have a lot of tank farms in Apapa, what has happened is that because of the damage of various oil infrastructure across the country, those that always go to Mosimi, Sagamu and the rest, because they can’t go there, everybody now goes to Apapa.”
Babajide Sanwo-Olu (left) and Obafemi Hamzat (right) are both former Lagos commissioners
To solve the problem, Hamzat said the Lagos government is already seeking solutions such as looking for land where the trucks can park without crowding the roads and causing traffic jams.
“The Lagos State government is right now looking for land that can park, I think, about 4,000 to 4,500 trucks on the outskirts,” he said.
When asked to give a timeline of when the vehicles would be removed from the roads and bridges, Hamzat said he couldn’t say for sure until all the relevant stakeholders have been contacted.
“But all I can tell you is that’ll be the number one priority of our government when we come in,” he said.
Hamzat also disclosed that his government would work on alternative means of transportation to ease the traffic mess in Lagos.
Last month, Sanwo-Olu vowed to bring a lasting solution to the problem surrounding thee Apapa gridlock within the first 100 days of his administration.
“Within the first 100 days, I will tackle the gridlock at Apapa. I will need to clear up all the traffic and all the trailers at Apapa. I’ll make sure it’s a nightmare we will not see again,” he said.
The Lagos governorship election will take place on March 2, 2019 with Sanwo-Olu considered a favourite to win and Jimi Agbaje of the Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) his biggest challenger.