Fuel Scarcity: Lagos to Shut Filling Stations Creating Gridlocks

  • Impounds vehicles obstructing traffic

Gboyega Akinsanmi
Consequent upon the lingering fuel scarcity in the country, the Lagos State Government yesterday warned filling stations dispensing petrol in any part of the state to desist from causing gridlocks.
The state government also warned that its law enforcement agents would temporarily shut any filling station, whose activities ignited gridlocks or obstructed traffic in any part of the state.

The Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Ekundayo Mobereola, gave the warning yesterday at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre, Alausa during a news conference he addressed along with his Information and Strategy counterpart, Mr. Steve Ayorinde and the Special Adviser on Transportation, Mr. Olarenwaju Elegushi, among others.

At the conference, the commissioner said the indiscriminate parking at filling stations across the state “has increased gridlocks across the state, crippling commercial activities. The filling stations will be shutdown temporarily

“As a result of that, the state has almost been at standstill due to the activities at the filling stations across the state. The state government has decided that this should not be. It is the responsibility of the filling stations to ensure that the queues are managed appropriately.

“From tomorrow, all dispensing filling station must maintain one lane. And any vehicle found on the second lane or going to the exit to procure fuel will be impounded and fined appropriately. We will ensure that the mobile courts are apprehending and punish erring vehicle owners.

“So what we are saying is that the filling stations should ask their customers to form a single queue. And it is their responsibility to engage more staffs to ensure that the single lane rule is maintained. With this, others who have been opportune to procure fuel will have easy movement within the state.

“If that does not happen, the State government has every right to shutdown those erring filling stations temporarily until they form one lane. We want to make Lagos a city that will be traffic free. And because of few persons, we cannot hold the state to ransom.

“There are two parties involve, the filling stations and the vehicle owners. We are magnanimous to allow single land on the road though it was not part of the role for the dispensation of fuel. The state recognizes the shortage of fuel at this time. And that was why we have decided to ceded one lane to them.

“It is the responsibility of the owners of the filling stations to manage the traffic and if they fail, we will have no option than to come in. The vehicles that are committing the offense, the state government will impound the vehicles and fine them appropriately. This had been going on for too long and we cannot allow this anymore. It has to stop,” he added.

Also speaking, Ayorinde noted there “is nothing wrong for vehicles to park overnight at the filling station waiting for fuel. But our complaint is that they should not obstruct the traffic. The vehicles impounded at the filling stations would be fined according to their size.

The Chief Executive Officer of the state Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Mr. Chris Olakpe, reminded motorists that the fine for willful obstruction of traffic ranges from N10,000 to N100,000, while owners of impounded vehicles would also pay fines for towing ranging from N10,000 to N100,000.