We have just concluded our Security Council Meeting wherefar-reaching decisions have been made.
It has become evident that traffic crimes and robbery are easily traced to the menace of
commercial motorcycle riders (Okada) and street hawkers. As we proceed to implement our plans to actualize other modes of transportation, commercial motorcycles remain a stop-gap remedy. And only a stop gap.
In addition to Okadas being used for crime, commercial buses are a menace on our roads. They have become very lawless and reckless. Many road users, especially those who should know better, seem to have also joined them in breaking traffic laws.
This government is totally committed to the security of lives and property as well as enforcing the Rule of Law. We will not allow a few notorious elements in our midst to cause a breakdown in law and order and upset the peace that we are used to in the State.
To curtail these challenges, we have decided on the full enforcement of the Lagos State Traffic Laws:
- For the avoidance of doubt, no person shall ride, drive or propel a cart, wheel barrow, motorcycle or tricycle on any of the routes specified in Schedule II of the Lagos State Road Traffic Law of 2012. The routes on this schedule are:
- Lagos – Ibadan Expressway
- Apapa – Oshodi Expressway
- Oworonshoki – Oshodi Expressway
- Lagos – Ikorodu Expressway
- Lagos – Abeokuta Expressway
- Third Mainland Bridge
- Eti–Osa/Lekki – Epe Expressway
- Lagos – Badagry Expressway
- Funsho Williams Avenue
- Agege Motor Road
- Eti-Osa/Lekki Coastal Road
- Any person who fails to comply with any of the provisions of this Section commits an offence and shall be liable on conviction as stipulated in the law.
- Henceforth, all commercial vehicles, except Bus Rapid Transport buses,must use only the service lanes in accordance with existing traffic laws.
- All conductors of Commercial buses must sit down in their buses and keep the doors closed at all times while in motion. It is against the Law for
conductors to hang on the bus doors and leave the doors open. Any bus contravention will be met with severe punitive measures.
- Commercial buses can only drop and pick passengers at officially designated bus stops henceforth. Any illegal and indiscriminate picking and dropping of passengers is against the law.
- Other road users who break traffic laws will pay a compulsory traffic fine in accordance with the law. Mobile Traffic courts are being introduced to prosecute offenders promptly.
On the traffic situation especially in the Apapa axis, the Tank farms and the petrol tankers are the major cause of traffic. There are 42 Tank Farms in Lagos and more are in the process of being approved. Lagos alone accounts for 80% of the cargo that come into the country through the Ports. 80-90% of the fuel used in Nigeria is loaded in Lagos.
I met with Tank farm and petroleum tanker owners more than 3 months ago and asked them to come up with a solution for the traffic gridlock which is caused by the tankers queuing up our roads and bridges to load petroleum products. Till date, they have not come back to me with any solution. One of the areas of concern we looked into is the non-conformity with requisite conditions on the use of the Sea Ports by the various Elements operating in and out of the Ports. These conditions include:
- Lack of due diligence in granting approval for the construction of tank farms, such that areas dedicated for truck holding bays are being used for other purposes
- Refusal by tank farm owners to construct holding bays for tankers, leading to spilling over of tankers to the highways and bridges.
- Selling by importers of cargos on board vessels rather than transporting the cargos to the warehouses, from where up-country trucks would have loaded them instead of the Ports.
- Sale of products by marketers above available stock holding, making retailers put more tankers on the road than can be accommodated.
- Insufficient or lack of cargo handling equipment and other operating equipment by Terminal Operators, such that all Port activities are slowed down.
This state of affairs that has accentuated traffic gridlock in Apapa and its environs is no longer tolerable to the State Government. All necessary arrangements have been made with the relevant Regulatory Institutions to sanction defaulting Port Users – Importers, Tank Farm Owners, Terminal Operators, Shipping Companies, etc.
Based on this, the Security Council has decided as follows:
- All Tank Farms are hereby given a 90-day grace period to build loading bays for their tank farms.
- Any Tank Farm that fails to provide a Loading Bay after this grace period, would be shut down by the State government.
- In addition, tank farms owners must desist from allocating pick-up papers to trucks beyond and above their daily capacity as is the case presently.
I wish to reiterate the commitment of this government to making life easier for our people As much as we want to
be civil, everybody should know that this will only apply to law abiding citizens.
This administration has promised Continuity with Improvement. To achieve this Improvement there has to be a Change in the way we carry out our businesses. Change is a process. I plead with everyone to be part of this Change.
In order to assure the commercial motor cyclists and bus owners of our joint resolve, the Chairmen of the related unions are here with me as a sign of their readiness to comply with these new set of actions.
Fellow citizens, as we enter into the last 2 months of the year, we must all be vigilant and prepared to have a changed attitude towards the issues relating to crime and terrorism. We must be ready to cooperate with the government at all times. NOBODY, I repeat, Nobody should patronize street hawkers in traffic henceforth. The next hawker could be a robber or terrorist. You are now well-advised.
If we all cooperate and decide not to buy, gradually and collectively, the hawkers will not come to the highways and streets anymore. Our roads will definitely become safer.
Our security agencies have been directed to increase their presence on the roads and highways to ensure greater safety.
Once again, I am committed to a safer, cleaner and more prosperous Lagos. “A Lagos that Works for All”.
Itesiwaju Ilu Eko lo je wa l’ogun!!!