…Decries excesses of contractor handling reconstruction of Mile 2-Tincan road
Even as the revitalization of the rail sector by the federal government to ease the traffic issues around the nation’s seaports is ongoing, the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) has said that the development is not a threat to their business in any way.
The Lagos State Vice Chairman, Dry Cargo Section of NARTO, Alhaji Abdullahi Inuwa Mohammed who gave this hint in an interview with our correspondent in Lagos recently stated that it was a welcomed development stressing that their business was not in any way threatened as no other mode of transportation could take cargoes to their final destination except the trucks.
According to him, “I will say it is a welcome development and as you said, it is not a threat to our haulage business, it is even a welcomed idea because I want to tell you that be it rail, air or sea, they cannot go to the final destination unless with the use of trucks and it will create more jobs. It will reduce the influx of trucks because some trucks will now remain within their vicinity, closer to the rail stations so that from there, they will be lifting cargoes to the final destination.
“Even before now, if you know the history of rail when it was functioning, there is no rail station that you will go to that you will not see a parking lot created for trucks where either they brought in to load into the train or they are about to evacuate what the train brought to the station to the final destination. Then, the majorly consist of cement, flour and livestock. So, it is not a threat.”
On the statement credited to the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi to the effect that some cargoes would no longer be hauled by the road on completion of the railways, Mohammed submitted, “When he mentioned that there are some cargoes that they will not be allowed to be carried by the road, at the same time, the rain will not go to the final destination where they may use that cargo. It is still the trucks that will do that. I think what he meant was that there are some heavy equipment that they will not allow to go by road because of the lifespan of the road until it gets closer to the final destination. That is how I understand it.”
Meanwhile, the National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) has decried the excesses of the Management of the Hi-Tech Construction Company, the construction firm handling the reconstruction of the Mile 2 – Tincan road saying that their insensitivity to the plight of the road users is about crumbling their businesses.
Alhaji Abdullahi Inuwa Mohammed who made this known in an interview with our correspondent in Lagos disclosed that some of their drivers have threatened to abandon their vehicles on the road as a result of lack of access road to the port to either drop the empty containers or to evacuate cargoes.
He said, “Even as I speak with, one of my drivers have abandoned my truck, we are even searching for another driver to go and bring back the vehicle. The task team within this axis has made it possible by trying to clear the road but on approach to the port access, the construction company has closed the two lanes leading to the port for reconstruction.
“You are aware that from Liverpool outward Coconut up to Mile 2, the road is under construction, they haven’t completed that one, they now come and cut off the road just by the first gate even second gate which prevents incoming trucks that are going to the second gate to park and you know that TICT terminal which is accommodating more than 18 shipping companies, the volume of empty containers that are going there but have no access, they now narrowed it to only first gate and mark it that at that first gate, that service lane, you will discover that there are trucks that are exiting from all the terminal within the first gate and at the same time, you want all those trucks that are going to the port to still follow that same side.
“I give credit to those who are managing that situation within that service lane; that is the NPA security, because the traffic situation at that point is very uncomfortable. On Thursday night, the drivers wanted to protest but we quickly had to intervene because if we allow such protest to hold, hoodlums may hijack it. So, we had to intervene. We even met with Hi-Tech, the construction company handling the reconstruction to plead with them to create even a single lane to lessen the pressure on the drivers as the two lanes cannot be totally closed but up till now, nothing has happened.
“As I speak with you, the only single lane exiting all the trucks to Mile 2, since yesterday night, a truck has fallen on the road and up till now, the truck is still lying there and there is no movement for any truck. So, I don’t know the type of Construction Company this is and they don’t consider the importance of the port, how busy it is and the fact that the port is working 24 hours. So, for God’s sake, how would even the task team who are controlling the traffic be able to that when you reach the entrance, then, all the trucks, you find them all stucked at one point. We understand the fact that whenever there is construction, there are bound to be some inconveniences but this one is more than what we expect because we have travelled across the country, we see how construction companies are doing, they don’t close the road just like that.
“What I am saying is that it is good for them to reduce tension because we don’t know what our drivers are up to. It is better for them to create at least a single lane from this first gate leading to the second gate for those ones to have access to go to the truck park because the volume of trucks that are going to second gate is more than the ones coming to the first gate.”
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