Thursday, December 20, 2018

Apapa Gridlock: Drivers Bath Inside Container, Defaecate in Takeaway Packs

The situation of the gridlock in Apapa has compel the truck drivers and their motor-boys to be living a very deplorable life. The infrastructure of Apapa, a major hub for government revenue generation was neglected for such a long time, and these have led to the need to do a major repair that is currently going at a snail speed for over a year. This has led to a very sharp decline in the non-oil export volume in Nigeria from 12% in Q1 to 3.6% in Q3 of 2018.

Our investigation revealed that a number of the drivers cannot go home even if they live in Lagos. They are forced to sleep in the truck because of thieves and vandals who will come and remove the truck battery and other valuable parts from the truck while they are away. They practically sleep with one eye opened so as to prevent these thieves from carrying out this kind of operation on their trucks under the cover of darkness. 

There was a case of one of the driver who has been on the road for more than 2weeks during which his wife delivered in Lagos and he had to tell them to go ahead and do the naming ceremony in his absence. This is because he cannot afford to leave the truck on the road and go home due to fear of theft and vandalization before he returns. 

It is also horrible to know that a number of the drivers have theirs baths inside empty containers at the back of the flatbed trucks. They had to get buckets and then arrange for water at different locations while in transit and use this to have their bath inside the empty containers. 

Since they had to eat and hence attend to the call of nature when necessary. These truck divers and their boys have turned the takeaway packs in which their purchased daily meals are served into the carrier of their faeces and these are dumped on the roadside or nearby bush.

The case of Apapa which has been neglected by successive administrations for many years has now constitute national disgrace which the current administration needs to give priority and tackle headlong in the shortest possible time so as to enhance the growth in non-oil export and hence the export proceeds inflow into the country. 

Bamidele Ayemibo

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