Residents of Lagos who have suffered untold hardship from the traffic gridlock caused by petrol tankers queuing for their turn to load petrol from the Apapa depot, may have some respite soon.
The State Commissioner for Transport, Kayode Opeifa, has announced a 48 hour ultimatum for the drivers who are not within 300 meters from the depot, to leave the area or face penalty for traffic offence.
The decision was taken on Wednesday, at a stakeholders’ meeting held in the commissioner’s office in Alausa, Ikeja, Lagos.
The meeting had in attendance representatives from the Major Oil Marketers Association of Nigeria, NUPENG, LATSMA, Police, Petroleum Tanker Drivers and others.
Contrary to presentations made by some of the stakeholders, particularly NUPENG, for a gradual negotiation that may stretch for weeks, the commissioner said the state government can no longer wait as the residents have been put through untold difficulty due to the parking of the petrol tankers on high ways including very sensitive bridges.
HOMELAND NEWS gathered that the tanker drivers’ expectation of loading soon may be an illusion as there is huge shortage of the product at the depot.
NNPC last week announced that it has 1.2 billion liters of petrol stocked, enough supply to last for 31 days, but not much is happening in terms of having the product available at the filling stations for consumers to buy.
A fallout of the situation is that most of the tankers have been on the queue for up to one week without making any movement. Because the drivers and their assistants sleep and eat on the same spot, the effect on the environment have been poor as they defecate and litter the once clean roads and bridges with wastes.
If the deadline by the state government is enforced, Lagos residents may bear with the suffocating effect of the gridlock till Friday.