…Gives 30-day ultimatum for Road Worthiness
Following the tragic tanker explosion on Otedola Bridge inward Ojodu Berger along Lagos-Ibadan Expressway which claimed lives and property, the Lagos State Government on the weekend restricted movement of fuel tankers to designated trailer route going forward. JOHN SILAS writes.
The Lagos State Government has said it was now mandatory for all articulated trucks coming into Lagos to obtain the Ministry of Transportation’s Road Worthiness Certificate at any of the designated centres within the next 30 days.
Addressing a joint press briefing at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre in Alausa after meeting with all the relevant stakeholders including Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD), National Association of Transport Operators (NATO), Container Truck Owners Association of Nigeria, among others, the State’s Commissioner for Transportation, Mr Ladi Lawanson, said the decision became necessary following preliminary investigations into the incident which revealed a combination of vehicular defect and human errors.
Lawanson said: “As an immediate response to the latest incident, the Lagos State Government hereby announces the following measures: Fuel tankers are hereby directed to ply the designated trailer route, that is, Apapa-Oworonshoki Expressway via Ogudu to Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.
“All Tankers and containers coming into Lagos State from henceforth are directed to obtain the Ministry of Transportation Certificate of Road Worthiness at any of or centres within the next 30 days, while new centres along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway will be established to quickly cope with the expected demand for this service.”
He listed the 10 centres currently available to process the applications to include Berger, Ojodu; Odogunyan, Ikorodu; Agric/Ishawo Road, Ikorodu; Worksyard, PWD, Shogunle; NCI, Gbagada; VIS Yard, Oko-Afo, Badagry; VIS Yard, Ayobo-Ipaja; Test Centre, Badagry; VIS Yard, Epe; and VIS Yard, Oko-Oba Abattoir.
Lawanson, who addressed the briefing alongside heads of government agencies and the stakeholders, said preliminary investigation revealed that the affected tanker which exploded was registered in Nasarawa Local Government, Kano State with registration number NSR 888 YC, and had changed ownership 13 times since purchase.
“It (the tanker) was manufactured in 1999 by Mack Trucks Inc at its assembly plant in Winnsboro, United States. This truck was designed as a 14,959kg (approximately 15 ton) drilling rig with low bed, but it was converted in Nigeria from a drilling rig to fuel tank carrier to carry 30 tonnes.
On suggestion of restriction of operation of tankers to certain hours, the Commissioner said having critically examined the issue especially considering the fact that imported petroleum products are pumped from import jetties at Atlas Cove through pipelines to Ejigbo Depots in Lagos, Mosimi (Ogun), Ibadan (Oyo), Ilorin (Kwara) and Ore (Ondo), and due to pipeline vandalism, any restriction of such would undermine supplies and threaten the wellbeing of the Nigerian economy since there is high demand for petroleum products across the country.
“This position has also been canvassed by the authorities in charge of the distribution of petroleum products in the consultations which followed the incident and at a time of great expectations for our economy to fully bounce back from recession, we believe that ensuring unhindered supply of petroleum products is indeed a patriotic contribution by Lagos State to the nation’s economic survival,” Lawanson said.