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Shame of a nation: Lagos International Airport Road now a nightmare

By News Express on 24/09/2014

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The 3.83-kilometre-long Lagos International Airport Road, leading in and out of the nation’s busiest gateway – the Murtala Muhammed International Airport – is fast becoming a nightmare for commuters, motorists and others.

The road is fast sullying the image of the nation, especially for first-time visitors and tourists as they are welcomed into the cold embrace of a mindless gridlock that may keep motorists at the same spot for hours.

Investigation showed that traffic jam occurs all day and the gridlock is caused by the bad state of the road and long queue of fuel-laden trailers parked indiscriminately on it.

Car owners, commercial drivers and owners of business outlets along the road said the tankers packed along the road are their major headache.

“These trailers are the major cause of the gridlock that has made both carriage of the road impassable in recent time,” Mr Taiwo Onifade, who lives at Mafoluku, said.

As at last week Thursday, no fewer than 21 petrol tankers were packed on the road leading to the international airport. These were outside those laden with Jet A-1 (aviation fuel), most of which were not making use of the parking lot allotted to them.

A motorist, Mr. Wasiu Olusanya, said tankers blocked one of the lanes on the road, forcing all vehicles on the road to make use of one lane, ultimately forcing cars from NAHCO Aviance to drive against traffic causing the gridlock.

He said: “In fact, the tankers here are the main cause of the traffic including vehicles coming from NAHCO, that make a U-turn opposite Ajao Estate entrance. We could spend three hours to leave the traffic that shouldn’t be more than 15 minutes. Airport road is supposed to be wide and about four lanes but we have only two lanes.”

Mr. Festus, who works with Mr. Biggs, said the traffic affects them as vehicles have turned the filling station into carriageway.

“At such times, vehicles that ought to branch to refill are prevented and this can last for hours.The traffic is a major hindrance. Government should widen the road and force these trailers out of the road. Vehicles driving against traffic facing NAHCO should be also be apprehended,” he said.

A commercial bus driver who simply identified himself as Sakariyau said the tankers should not be allowed to pack along the road. He said all commercial bus drivers plying the route use their parking lot to avoid the crisis on the road and urged tanker drivers to do same to reduce the stress of motorists and other road users on the road.

The Federal Airports Authority of Nigeria (FAAN) had in August 2013 relocated the tanker drivers to a permanent site within the airport after years of causing havoc on the highways at the airport, but many have refused to leave the road, insisting that the allocated space is inaccessible.

The National Public Relations Officer (PRO), Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD), Comrade Atanda Adebayo, said the problem with the Airport road was that many trailers, with no business in that area are usually found there.

He said the union would be willing to cooperate with security operatives to sanitise the area to ensure that only aviation fuel-laden trailers are allowed to operate there.

He, however, called for a more conducive space to be allotted to tankers, adding that the space allotted to trailers is marshy and unmotorable, a development that made many of them to avoid the place.

•Credit (except for amended headline): The Nation. Photo shows a typical scene on the Murtala Muhammed International Airport Road, Lagos.

Source News Express

Posted 24/09/2014 11:46:42 AM


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