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Traffic gridlock grounds activities in Lagos

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A gridlock caused by petrol tankers which blocked the highways leading to Apapa depot on Thursday compelled commuters to trek to work and their various businesses.

The traffic jam, described as the worst ever in Lagos metropolis, caused untold stress to the commuters and forced many to abandon their destinations and return home.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the development led to the arteries through which motorists could have manoeuvered being blocked, leaving passengers and drivers lamenting.
NAN also reports that motorists and commuters always travelled with ease as there were usually less traffic on Thursday mornings because of the Thursday’ sanitation programme in the state.
Some motorists also abandoned their vehicles on the roadside in the hope of coming back to pick them when traffic would have eased.
Reacting, Mrs Blessing Eze, a trader at Lagos Island, said that the road congestion had disrupted her commercial activities in the day.
Eze said: “It is not good at all, thousands of Lagosians have resorted to trekking because the roads are blocked. Our driver took all alternative routes but met all met blocked.
“I disembarked from the vehicle which I boarded at Surulere and took to trekking to Lagos Island, which you know is a good distance.”
Eze said that she had spent about one and half hours trekking from Surelere to Costain, stressing that she would not know when she would get to her business.
Mr Wale Ola, a businessman at Apapa, said: “This horrible traffic started yesterday, it is disheartening and highly discouraging.”
However, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) and the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), have said that they were on top of the situation.
Mr Hyginus Omeje, FRSC Lagos Sector Commander, told NAN there had been partnership among the Nigerian Police Force, LASTMA and the corps to detangle the gridlock.
LASTMA General Manager, Mr Babatunde Edu, told NAN said that the authority worked all through the night to arrest the situation by restricting the tankers to one single lane.
“I have not had sleep since yesterday, I have been here working with my men to ensure that the problem is resolved and people can enter Lagos.
“Tankers and other articulated vehicles entering or leaving Apapa should not lock down Lagos, they should obey traffic managers’ directive by restricting their operations to one single lane.
“We are working assiduously to ensure Ikorodu road is gridlock-free, and that no tanker is allowed on Eko Bridge except on Oshodi/Mile 2 road,” he said.
Edu blamed the gridlock on the bad roads along the axis, saying that though the Federal Ministry of Works worked on a portion of the road the unfinished part was a problem.
According to him, for such experience not to recur, the issues of infrastructure decay and lingering fuel scarcity have to be addressed.
The LASTMA boss urged motorists who had no serious business to do in Apapa to avoid the road.