Chairman House of Representatives Committee on Petroleum Resources Downstream, Hon Joseph Iranola Akinlaja has admonished government at all levels as well as stakeholders in the oil and gas sector to urgently invest, resuscitate and develop the abandoned Orile parking space for petroleum tankers in order to reduce traffic gridlock in Apapa, Orile, and Mile-2 corridor of Lagos state.
The Ondo Rep, made the necessary and important call for the much needed social service at the 2018 edition of Lagos State Petroleum Marketers Safety Conference (LSPMSC) held in Federal Palace hotel VI, Lagos on Tuesday, September 18, 2018.
Akinlaja at the policy dialogue said lack of standard parking space in and around Orile-Iganmu, Apapa, Abule-Ado, etc where majority of private tank farms were located had resulted to gridlock on Lagos roads creating heavy toll on the health of the road users, reducing their lifespan and adversely affecting their productivity as well as the economy of the nation.
“I have said it about 20 years ago when I was still in NUPENG and I am repeating it again that the Orile-Iganmu tanker park that was abandoned is the solution to the traffic gridlock on the Apapa corridor of Lagos and this facility has the capacity to accommodate about 3,000 trucks simultaneously. At present no depot or tank farm can boast of loading products at their maximum capacity and this has resulted to huge loss to investors on that corridor,’’ he said.
The Federal parliamentarian continued, ”I laughed the other time when the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo gave directive for the commencement of a 72-hour joint operation to restore sanity around Apapa and environs after activities of truck drivers had caused traffic gridlock and made vehicular movement around the axis near impossible because no parking alternative was provided for even up till now. Today the tankers are back and they will continue to be there.
”Until stakeholders like government, depot owners, etc come together and resuscitate that Orile tanker park, I dont see any solution playing out. And if the park must be fixed it must be in form of social service and not an avenue to make money, if the fees are too much the tanker divers might not be able to afford it. For example if they charge them may be N500, such fee will be used to maintain may be the toilets or to provide security or electricity and other services.
“Most of the roads to these depots are not accessible to tankers because they are in a bad state. So, any truck going through Apapa Marine Bridge road will be struggling with smaller ones and this may result to accident. If our roads are in good condition, many of our trucks would not be damaged on the roads,’’ Akinlaja maintained.