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Otedola Bridge fire incident: Lagos restricts tankers to designated route

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TankersFOLLOWING last Thursday fuel tanker explosion at Otedola Bridge that claimed nine lives while 54 vehicles were destroyed, Lagos State government has directed that henceforth trailers and tankers coming and going out of the state must ply only designated route, which is Apapa-Oworonshoki Expressway via Ogudu to Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

The state government also directed all the tankers and containers coming to the state to obtain the Ministry of Transportation (MoT) Certificate of Road Worthiness within the next 30days, even as it sought for close collaboration among the stakeholders, including the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), among others.

This was just as it said that preliminary investigations conducted so far revealed that the tanker that exploded that fateful Thursday was manufactured in 1999 and loaded twice beyond its 30 tonnes capacity, adding that further investigation into its current ownership and other related details were in progress as it had changed ownership 13 times.

The State’s Commissioner for Transportation, Mr Ladi Lawanson, announced this on Sunday at a press conference he jointly addressed with his counterparts in the Ministry of Information and Strategy and Ministry of Special Duties and Inter-Governmental Relations, Hon. Kehinde Bamigbetan and Mr Oluseye Oladejo respectively.

“As an immediate response to the latest incident, the Lagos State government hereby announces the following measure: 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 (MoT) Certificate of Road Worthiness within the next 30days,” he said.

The commissioner said giving the pressure the registration would generate, the new centre was being planned to open quickly along the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

According to him, this is in addition to 10 existing centres located at Berger in Ojodu area of the state, Odogunyan, Ikorodu, Agric/Ishawo Road also in Ikorodu, Works yard, PWD, Shgunle, NCI, Gbagada, VIS Yard, Oko-Afo, Badagry, VIS Yard, Ayobo, Ipaja, Test Centre, Badagry, VIS Yard, Epe and VIS Yard, Oko-Oba Abbatoir.

Lawanson, who said that all the stakeholders in the state, including NUPENG, among others were in agreement with the decision reached to address the incessant tanker fire, disclosed that awareness campaign would commence immediately to persuade all vehicle owners in the state to obtain MOT Road Worthiness Certificate.

“We, hereby, call on motorists and the general public to join hands with us to prevent avoidable deaths due to the presence of vehicles unfit to ply the roads. Let us protect each other by asking our friends to save lives by obtaining their roadworthiness certificates,” Lawanson said.

The commissioner, while dwelling on the investigations so far conducted on the incident, said: “Investigations conducted so far by the Lagos State government indicate that the truck, NSR 888YC was registered at Nasarawa Local Government, Kano State and has changed ownership 13 times since purchase.

“It was manufactured in 1999 by Mack Inc at its assembly plant in Winnsboro, United States. This truck was designed as a 14,959kg (approximately 15ton) drilling rig with a low bed, but it was converted in Nigeria from a drilling rig to fuel tank carrier to carry 30tonnes.

“From this preliminary investigation, the truck should not have been loaded to the weight of 30tonnes, which is twice its pulling capacity. Further investigation into the current owner of the fuel tanker and other related details is progressing.”

Lawanson, who expressed the belief of the state government in ensuring unhindered supply of petroleum products as part of its patriotic contribution to the nation’s economic survival, however, disclosed that “government is exploring alternative modes of transportation of the products to separate passenger traffic from cargo movements within the metropolis in the interest of public safety and orders.”

The post Otedola Bridge fire incident: Lagos restricts tankers to designated route appeared first on Tribune.

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