Lagos: Falling Containers, Major Challenge Facing Transportation In the Port Environment As LASEMA And CIoTA Battle To Address It

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By Stephen Ubanna

Olufemi Oke-Osanyintolu,   Director General, Lagos state Environmental Management Authority, LASEMA, is not a happy man.  This is because of the rate at which both latched and  unlatched Containerised cargoes and the empty fall in Lagos killing innocent people on the road. 

Between July 26, 2020, and Friday, August 20, 2020, one ‘’20’’  and one ‘’40’’ Container each  had fallen  almost at the same spot killing two persons each along the Oshodi –Apapa Express way in Lagos, the nation’s Commercial  nerve center.

 The latest ‘’40’’ empty  Container  that killed two adults was  said to have occurred at  Odo Olowu Bus stop, Ijesha . The truck  which was said to be   loaded with the ‘’40’’ empty Container  was said to have had a  brake failure which resulted why it  rammed  into a Commercial truck parked at the location of the accident.

The ‘’40’’ empty Container accident , according to eye-witness account had occurred  near the same location  where a 27 year-old  Chidinma Ajoku , a Staff of the Federal Airport Authority, FAAN, and her Colleague, were also killed  after an unlatched  Container  fell  on a Commercial bus they were  in.

Worried at the rate  which   Containers are falling in Lagos, particular, along the Oshodi-Apapa Express way, officials of  the Lagos state Environmental agency, LASEMA, according to insider sources were said to have activated  its  Emergency Response Team, Eagle squad.

Femi Oke Osanyintolu: DG, LASEMA

 The Team  was  said  to been deployed  to the Odo-olowu Bus stop, the scene of the recent accident.Perhaps , to avoid causing more accident on the busy Oshodi-Apapa Express way, the  LASEMA Team and the police were said to have worked together  to recover the  accidented  truck  off the road with the aid  of its heavy duty equipment and forklift. They were  said to  rescued the driver  alive but the victims were  takento the Mortuary.

 The recent Container accident may have opened the eye of the officials of the  and the state ministry of Transport  and LASEMA, an agency of the government  that  they need to initiate  new  measures  that would enhance the monitoring of  trucks  latched with Containers  on the Lagos  roads in order to  control the activities of the  drivers.

 Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the state governor, who is no longer finding it funny about the loss of lives in the nation’s Commercial nerve center due to Container accidents was said to have  thrown his weight on LasAMA, urging the agency to utilise its full powers as contained in the Act establishing it to bring the truck drivers  operating in Lagos under control.

The Lagos state government and its agency, LASEMA,   may not be alone in addressing the problem of Container accident in the state. The Chartered Institute of Transport Administration, CIoTA, also had been working on the challenege over the last two years  ‘’ to ensure the safety of  all modes of transportation in in the country, particular, those operated  within the port environment’’.

 Bashir Jamoh, President of the Institute and who incidentally is the Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA,  may  have made his feelings known to those that cares to listen when he gave his words that the Association would ‘’ intensify   its advisory  role on transportation matters’’ to the rid the sector  of unsafe practices and ensure  smooth and safe movement  of trucks in the port environment’’.

As President of CIoTA, and a man of his words, he was said to have started  engaging the  industry stakeholders  in a bid to find a lasting  solution  to the issue of safety, particular, ‘’ with proper latching  of Containers,  onto articulated  trucks’’. He had said that the  falling off  Containers  latched  onto  truck remain a major challenge  that has  faced transportation in the port environment in the recent times and which must be tackled headlong.

Jamoh: President : CIoTA And DG, NIMASA

As a prelude to ensuring that that the Association was not working  at opposite directions with the Lagos state government, the  officials,  according to insider sources, were said to have reached out to key  actors in the state ministry of Transportation and LASEMA,  with a view to getting  their commitment  ‘’to work  towards  a broad-based programme that  will involve  all the   critical stakeholders in order  for them to know  about the importance  of safety and properly  latching of Containers and cargo to trucks before they leave the  marine  and other import-export  environments for the  general road networks in the state.

The  CIoTA, officials, were said to be looking  at the issue  of the competence and mental status of the truck drivers as they insists that safety  in the sector  can longer  take the back Seat. But Transport analysts would  want Jamoh, the CIoTA, president and his Colleagues , to set up a Roving Team within the Lagos port Environment  that would be monitoring the trucks taking their exit from the port to the general  road networks in Lagos to ensure they comply with the road signs, rules and regulations. They were said to have suggested  that any driver found to have contravened the Law should be sanctioned on the spot as a deterrence to others.

. dThe analysts believe that that if this can be implemented by both CIoTA and the Lagos state Environmental Agency, LASEMA, the rate of trucks accident  on the Oshosi-Apapa  Express would be reduced to the barest minimum.

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