This is why trucks making life hell for Lagosians aren't going anywhere soon
The trucks from hell on Lagos roads are here to stay and here's why.
A top chieftain of the APC in Lagos who served as a Commissioner in the Babatunde Raji Fashola administration told Pulse on condition of anonymity that the Ambode led government in Lagos is keeping the trucks on the bridges because it is making money off them.
“Do you know that the truck owners pay between N20,000 and N50,000 weekly to the Akinwunmi Ambode led Lagos State government as long as their vehicles are parked on the bridges or on major roads? Have you ever wondered why these trucks were not on those bridges during the Fashola administration in which I served in? We made sure they were never allowed there.
“Ambode won’t clear the trucks because they are now a source of revenue for the Lagos state government. Do you know that the bridges have been weakening because of the load from the trucks? It’s really unfortunate”, this chieftain lamented.
A source of traffic and pain
The articulated trucks and tankers have become a source of pain for Lagosians who now spend hours commuting to work and back.
The trucks have taken over entire lanes or double lanes in most cases, further compounding traffic woes and the frustration in Nigeria’s chaotic commercial capital.
Accidents on roads where the trucks are parked, are also commonplace.
“Yes, we dey pay money to park for here”, confessed one truck driver Pulse spoke with on the Eko bridge, as others converged round him to lend support. Asked how much they were paying, no one was brave enough to tender a figure. “We no like wahala o. Make dem no come drive us comot for this place wey we dey manage”, one or two chorused in unison.
Lagos’ congested ports—which serve as entry points for more than 90 percent of Nigeria's imports—have no provision for parking lots for articulated trucks and other long vehicles who seek entry to the ports to convey goods to the rest of the country.
Previous presidential interventions, including one notable visit by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who stormed surrounding expressways with law enforcement to clear the trucks off busy highways, yielded little.
Trucks disappeared when Buhari visited Lagos
The trucks momentarily disappeared from Eko bridge, Ikorodu Road and Surulere when President Buhari visited Lagos to canvas for re-election votes on February 9, 2019, but returned to inflict more pain on motorists and commuters soon after the nation's number one citizen left town.
Pulse understands that the trucks were moved to Festac and Mile 2 areas of Lagos when the president visited.
“So they could get these trucks off the roads all along but didn’t? So, the president is more important than all of us who pay the taxes with which Lagos state is run?”, asked an angry businesswoman who identified herself as Ronke. “This government is wicked. Wicked!!”, she cursed out loud, before dredging a mass of spittle from her throat and hurling a fist-full onto the tarmac below in palpable disgust.
A change of parking lot
It is understood that the parking lot once used by the trucks in Apapa, has been acquired by an investor who recently purchased the strip of land for private use, a development that spilled the trucks to major roads across Lagos.
Residents of Apapa have embarked on street protests to demand solutions from government on the gridlock caused by the trucks, but no one has addressed their concerns or called them for a parley.
Chief Press Secretary to Governor Ambode, Habib Aruna, could not immediately be reached for comments.
Commissioner for Information in Lagos, Kehinde Bamigbetan, rejected calls from Pulse when contacted for a response to this story.
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