NEPZA to tackle traffic gridlock within Lekki Free Zone
The Nigeria Export Processing Zones Authority (NEPZA) says it has concluded plans to halt emerging traffic gridlock arising from the operations of Pinnacle Oil & Gas Free Zone Enterprises, FZE.
Managing Director of NEPZA, Prof. Adesoji Adesugba stated this in response to the Nigeria Economic Zones Association’s concern on increase in the movement of oil tankers in the Lekki axis after Pinnacle Oil & Gas FZE commenced its operations.
Executive Secretary of the association, Mr Toyin Elegbede, expressed frustration over the gridlock.
According to him, “Efforts so far made by the association to get both Lekki Free Zone Development Company and Pinnacle Oil & Gas FZE to resolve the emerging traffic crisis has not yielded any results. This has led to scores of tankers parking on the road, effectively converting it into a truck park thereby affecting flow of traffic and throwing all stakeholders in the axis in a deep state of distress”.
He explained that the current shortage of fuel has exacerbated the issue as it has hampered the operations of other businesses operating from the axis.
“This situation, if not tackled early enough, will render the whole axis not conducive for businesses, and this will negatively affect the country’s drive for economic development through the Free Trade Zone scheme.” Mr Elegbede stated.
“Moreover, it poses significant security and safety threats to the residents in and around these parked tankers,” Elegbede added.
The NEPZA CEO commended the association for its intervention adding that “We shall take up the matter immediately with the aim of resolving whatever constraints the parties are confronted with,” Adesugba said.
Prof. Adesugba affirmed that the economy could not afford another Apapa-typed traffic challenges, questioning why the zone operator, Lekki Free Zone Development Company, did not make provision for a Truck Park before the commencement of operations.
He said, ” I will summon a meeting on this matter. A Truck Park must be created within Lekki Free Zone to accommodate the number of trucks doing businesses in the Lekki Free Zone axis”.
“As an immediate step, we will ensure that the Lekki Free Zone and Pinnacle Oil & Gas FZE operate in such manner that trucks are not parked on the road,” he added.
The NEPZA boss also said the Lekki axis was economically strategic to the Nigerian economy noting that any stakeholder that failed to take corrective action would be sanctioned appropriately.