August 24, 2022 [ Businessday NG ] – Concerns are growing in Ijanikin, Ojo area of Lagos State over the planned siting of a petroleum tanker terminal within that locality, with the residents arguing the plan is tantamount to shifting a crisis from one part of the state to another without actually solving it.
Some residents of the area are apprehensive that the planned development of the truck terminal means that the current congestion crisis in Apapa and its environs would be shifted to them.
Although the Lagos State Government is yet to unveil the exact location to construct the truck terminal, the residents are worried that a large concentration of petroleum tankers and container bearing trucks in Ijanikin and its environs would impede traffic flow and unleash hardship on the densely populated area.
“This is like shifting the crisis from one part of the state to another. I believe this is not the best approach to solving the problem,” said Maduka Ikenna, a resident of Ijanikin, who advised the government to consider building the facility outside of the area fully occupied by people.
Ikenna’s concerns are shared by Adebola Owoeye, another resident of Ijanikin, who noted that the planned truck terminal in Ijanikin was like going round a circle and ending up at the same spot.
“Why not look for a land along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway for example, to build the terminal and then make the call-up system very effective, such that only trucks that can tender genuine documents of having business to transaction in Apapa are allowed to start driving to Apapa. By choosing Ijanikin, a densely populated slum, they’re simply saying that rather than suffocating Apapa, let’s go suffocate the residents of residents. So at the end of the day, you would have succeeded in shifting the crisis from Apapa to Ijanikin. The question to ask is what have you really achieved, because a little while the residents and businesses in Ijanikin would start crying out the same way Apapa is crying out today,” said Owoeye.
Samson Adaka, another resident of the area, who sells used foot wears at the Ijanikin market, also expressed his concerns. According to Adaka, Ijanikin is already a troubling area given the bad state of the Lagos-Badagry Expressway, and the trucks would only come to worsen the situation. “The government should think deeply about this decision,” he said.
Recalled that the Lagos State government last weekend announced it was planning to develop a terminal to hold at least 5,000 trucks at Ijanikin in addition to the ABAT terminal which is being rehabilitated near Orile-Iganmu as part of the solution to the lingering congestion crisis in Apapa.
The state governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, who flagged off the rehabilitation of the ABAT terminal, said:
“One of the resolutions during the stakeholders’ meeting we had the Vice President is that we should have authorized truck terminal park. And so my visit to this place today (last Sunday) is to flag off the reconstruction of this terminal so that we can accommodate 1000 trucks. We would do this in collaboration with the Nigeria Ports Authority so that the call-up system can work efficiently. We are expanding this particular terminal by acquiring the adjoining land. We would use that primarily for non-petroleum trucks so that we can sectionalized these trucks and allow the call-up system to work. I have also been briefed that we have an additional land space in Ijanikin that can accommodate 5000 trucks. We will explore that possibility immediately; all that we are doing is to make sure that there is a permanent solution to this whole idea of trucks destroying our bridges and roads”.
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