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FG calls for trucks’ holding bay in Lagos

By on July 31, 2014

The Federal Government on Tuesday, urged Lagos State to build permanent holding bay for trucks and tankers to park, to ease the logjam around Apapa area of the State.

The Minister of State for Defence, Musiliu Obanikoro, made the call when he visited the Western Naval Command headquarters (WNC), in Apapa.

Obanikoro said the permanent bay would keep the trucks and trailers off the roads and would no longer hinder free flow of traffic.

He also said the 500-truck capacity park being constructed by the Federal Government at Tincan Island would also serve as holding bay.

He disclosed that plans were underway by the government to relocate tank farms from Apapa, citing security implications as the reason behind the move.

“There are plans and we are also working with all the stakeholders to ensure that the area is kept under check.

“It is not easy to close all these things overnight but what is important is to call for more vigilance on the part of the operators.

“Let me assure that all the security agencies in the country are well alert to what is at stake and everything humanly possible is being done to curtail such misfortune.

“There is need for the state to have a permanent holding bay for trucks.

“It is when that is provided that there can be a radio link between the port and the bay, so that whenever the port is ready to have them, a radio message would be passed across to indicate and the affected trucks can go into Apapa.

“We need to do it as quickly as possible. I believe that Lagos State Government would act fast.

“The park at Tincan Island is still under construction. That is why you did not see trucks there.

“We will do everything possible to complete it in the shortest time possible but have it in mind that that is not a permanent holding bay.

“For sometimes now, we have been looking at the security implication of allowing trailers and trucks to use the road as parks rather than for movement.

“With the activities of Boko Haram and other e elements, we believe strongly that people may want to negatively take advantage of the chaotic situation around the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA).

“I am happy that the Nigerian Navy (NN) moved in and so far, all the standing trucks have been moved and passage way have been created to ensure smooth vehicular movement in the area.

“This has eliminated the security threat of having trucks and containers littering the entire area.

The Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) WNC, Rear Admiral Sanmi Alade, said it took the navy about four days to achieve sanity after flagging off the operation to clear the congestion.

He said: “For now, we are still on the road. The operation is still active and until we call it off, naval personnel will remain on the road.

“We have faced challenges such as logistics, which we are trying to cope with.

“Getting the stakeholders together to key into the process was also a challenge but most of them have realised the need to work with us on thisâ€, he said.