“We cannot continue like this”- MWUN cries out against perennial clogging along port access roads
… Begins 3-day warning strike December 7
The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) has cried out against the persistent blockade of the port access roads by heavy-duty trucks, and thus resolved to embark on a three-day industrial action beginning from Monday, December 7, in protest of the situation, particularly along the Apapa –Oshodi Expressway, Lagos.
The Union had at various occasions called the attention of authorities concerned with ensuring safe and responsible use of the roads, to address the problem of such trucks that put other road users through pain of losing hours and open to more risk of accidents.
From discussions at its National Executive Council (NEC) meeting held in Lagos on Friday, a communique issued by the President-General, Comrade Adeyanju Adewale, and Secretary-General of the Union, Felix Akingboye, said, “The National Executive Council in-session wishes to draw the attention of the Federal Government once again to the deplorable state of the access roads to the Lagos seaports, and the dangers this pose to lives and properties.
“To avoid the continuous and unnecessary deaths as well as a loss of man-hour on the failed roads, the NEC in-session hereby calls on the Federal Government and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to urgently fix the access roads and make them motorable.
“The NEC in-session unanimously approves the Central Working Committee (CWC) recommendation that the union proceeds on a three-day warning strike to bring to the public space our disappointment over the total neglect of the access roads to Lagos Ports by the successive government and the urgent need for government to repair the roads.”
“We cannot continue like this. From Second Rainbow to the ports in the last three weeks, it takes not less than five to seven hours to access the ports depending on when you get trapped.
“When you are leaving the ports, you even spend more hours from the ports to the same second rainbow. A lot of innocent lives have been lost, many have been maimed by hoodlums who rob and dispose victims of their belongings.
Noting how the traffic situation caused by the trucks has impacted on ease of movement within the area, and what it has done to businesses, Adeyanju added that government’s response at this instance would determine the Union’s next line of action in this regard.
“At the end of the three-day warning strike, the response of government will determine our next line of action. On daily basis, our members going to work, go through torture to work, and going home after work.
“Many of them do not get home until 12 am or more. The same thing happens to other road users on the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway.
“Many businesses have relocated out of Apapa and its environs to neighbouring countries because of the failed access roads. The implications are huge to the Nigerian economy and employment creation.
“The government must address the condition of the roads and find a lasting solution to the gridlock,” he said.
“It has not only affected businesses but the revenue of the government. We are not talking about the loss of lives, properties, and the health implications of the unending gridlock occasioned by the total take over of the access roads heavy-duty trucks such as containerised trucks, fuel tankers and others.
“Despite our previous calls, we once again, call on the government to see the problem of the access roads to Apapa and Tin Can Island ports complex as an emergency that should be solved and addressed permanently.
“I wish to call on the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing to hasten discussion with NPA, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and all the shipping companies responsible for the perennial gridlock that has bedeviled the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway with a view to finding a lasting solution to the problem,” Adeyanju added.