More than 12,337 tankers and container-laden trucks are currently parked illegally, in various parts of Lagos.
In addition, over 5,000 articulated trucks have seized the entire stretch of the dual carriage Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, inward Tin Can/Apapa; thereby paralyzing traffic on the ever-busy road and causing problems for motorists, commuters and other road users, Vanguard reports.
Report has it that a breakdown of the situation shows that there are 3,200 trucks parked on the road from Iyana Isolo to Tin Can; from Ijora to Palmgrove, there are 3,485 trucks parked; from Marine Bridge to Ijora, 1850 and down the bridge, 1050; from Stadium to Eko Bridge, 874; from Costain—Stadium-Alaka—Fadeyi, 865; from Berger Suya to Kirikiri Road (New Road Bus stop, 678; from Wilmer Bridge to Awodiora(Ajegunle), 187; from Coker to Costain Bridge, 63. 671 of these articulated vehicles are crammed into the entire Berger area; with 210 parked on the bridge.
The gridlock has been linked to the recent suspension for 10 days of four major shipping lines – Maersk, Cosco Shipping, APS and Lansal – by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA).
The NPA indicated that the suspension was part of efforts to resolve a protest by truck drivers at the Lagos Ports Complex and the Tin Can Island Port. The assistant general manager, corporate and strategic communications division of NPA, Isah Suwaid, had in a statement also disclosed that following investigations by the Authority, it was found that the four companies failed to fully comply with the directive to acquire and operate holding bays.
He translated their shortcoming to imply that they do not have adequate capacity to handle the volume of containers that they deal with, or have failed to utilize their holding bays. “Some of these companies have also been found to import a larger number of containers than empty containers exported thereby, making the country a dumping ground for empties.
“This has contributed to the persistent congestion around the Lagos Port Complex and the Tin Can Island Port, spreading to other parts of Lagos metropolis where truck drivers with no immediate business at the ports now park their trucks on the expressways.
“Stakeholders have agreed that while the call-up system through the ports management as advised by shipping companies will remain in force, personnel of the Nigerian Navy will discontinue the issuance of call ups, even though they will remain on the traffic management team,” he said.
However, the NPA’s action seems to have complicated the situation, as the suspended companies have resorted to unleashing their horde of trucks on the expressway and surrounding roads, thereby causing horrendous traffic congestion.
The situation is even likely to get worse as the days go by, following the NPA’s insistence that the companies can only be permitted further use of the port area after review of the level of compliance to its directives and to determine further actions at the expiration of their 10-day suspension.