The Lagos State Government has set up plans to ban trailer and truck drivers plying certain routes and operating during the daytime within the state.
The government made its position known about the proposed implementation of route restrictions and night operations for trailer and truck drivers during a stakeholders’ meeting at Ikeja yesterday.
The Commissioner for Transportation, Dr Frederic Oladeinde, disclosed that the current administration has mapped out dedicated routes to be plied by the affected drivers between 9:00 pm and 6:00 am daily. He mentioned that the move was necessary to decongest the Apapa gridlock and put the activities of truck drivers in check as it had a negative impact on economic activities in Lagos State. He also appealed to stakeholders to cooperate with the State Government to remedy the situation.
Oladeinde also urged the stakeholders to put aside their sentiments and be considerate of fellow road users’, adding that the policy is not meant to cause rancour as it is geared towards opening up the State for greater economic realities. He further appealed to them to see the issues raised as work in progress, while noting that discussions with the unions are ongoing to ensure that grey areas are addressed.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Mr Oluwatoyin Fayinka, warned that non-compliance from the affected drivers will be met with the full weight of the Law and appropriate sanctions exerted on offenders. He also requested that the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) provides the Ministry with information on the call-up schedule, while noting that the initiative will also help to control the influx of vehicles into Lagos, the Apapa ports in particular; and prevent the indiscriminate parking of tankers and trucks along road corridors.
The Lagos Sector Commander, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Mr Olumide Ogungbemide; expressed concerns over the avoidable loss of lives on Lagos roads, stating that the loss of lives could not be equated to sentiments being raised by truckers. He added that only 8% of the operators have minimum safety requirements.
The General Manager, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Engr. Olajide Oduyoye and the Director, Lagos State Vehicle Inspection Service, Engr. George Akin-Fashola; appealed to the stakeholders to cooperate with the directive of the State Government in consideration of fellow citizens as well as to avoid being sanctioned.
Stakeholders were assured that the agencies are ready to work with their unions to acquaint their members with safety requirements to help beef up their services in line with the provision of the Law on the safety of lives and property.
Speaking on the restricted routes for trucks and vehicle specifications, Director Transport Operations, Engr. Abdulhafis Toriola noted that “any vehicle above 6ft with three sets of number plates is considered a Trailer and an Articulated Vehicle.”
He added that Ikorodu road, Maryland, Costain and Funsho Williams avenue will be restricted to the vehicles in question.