30 January 2018, Sweetcrude, Lagos — The Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) weekend in Lagos issued a seven-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to remove all trucks parked or abandoned on Oshodi-Apapa Dual Carriage and make all access roads to the nation’s seaports motorable.
The union in a statement warned that if after seven days the government fails to remove all parked trucks on Oshodi-Apapa dual carriageway and fill all craters and potholes on all access roads to the nation’s seaports to make them motorable, its members would down tools and commence a nationwide indefinite strike.
The statement signed by the President-General of MWUN, Comrade Adewale Adeyanju and Secretary-General, Felix Akingboye, threatened that if by Monday, February 5, the federal government fails to meet the union’s two demands, all seaports nationwide would be shut.
According to the statement: “On May 14, 2017, the union issued a 21-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to fix the access roads to the nation’s seaports especially the Oshodi-Apapa Dual Carriage Way that leads to Apapa and Tin-Can Ports. Before the expiration of the ultimatum, the management of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) met with us and pleaded with us that they were doing something to fix the roads especially the Apapa and Tin -Can Ports axis of the Oshodi-Apapa Dual Carriage Way.
We were assured that remedial works would be done on the road because it was not captured in 2017 national budget.
We decided to suspend our planned industrial action. We have waited and endured very harrowing experiences on the access roads to the Ports in Lagos, Port Harcourt, Calabar and Warri, hoping upon hopes that the government will at least, do a quick fix on the roads to make them motorable.
“Nine months after we suspended the ultimatum, the roads have completely deteriorated and in addition, have claimed several lives and properties. In fact, we lost two of our members on the Oshodi-Apapa Dual Carriage Way.
The Oshodi-Apapa Dual Carriage Way has completely failed and unmotorable. From Berger Bridge, there are countless craters and potholes on the road.
To worsen the already terrible situation, from Otto Wharf, the road has become parks and mechanic workshops for heavy-duty trucks parked and abandoned by drivers and owners in the last few months.
People now defecate, sleep, cook wash clothes, bathe and do whatever they like on the road. As a result, the road is now a safe haven for criminals who use every opportunity to attack, assault and rob innocent Nigerians including our members who trek to and from work daily on the road because it is no longer motorable.
“Today, only a few vessels now berth at our seaports as most ship owners and businessmen prefer our neighbouring ports especially Cotonou.
While our neighbouring ports are booming, our ports have been deserted because of the failed access roads to the ports, the gateway to the nation’s economy. Last week we took an assessment tour of the roads and to our dismay, the Apapa axis of the Oshodi-Apapa Dual Carriage Way said to be under reconstruction by a consortium of private individuals, is now stand still. We even understand that NPA has paid a substantial part of N270million pledge it made on the reconstruction of the road.”