Fuel Scarcity: Lagos bans indiscriminate queues at petrol stations
The Lagos State Government on Wednesday said it would no longer allow indiscriminate parking of vehicles on the road networks across the state on the basis of queuing up for Premium Motor Spirit otherwise known as fuel, just as it threatened to sanction any erring filling stations and motorists who flout the directive.
Rising from the weekly State Executive Council Meeting, the government said it can no longer tolerate the attendant traffic gridlock associated with the indiscriminate parking of vehicles on the road, adding that the enforcement on the directive would commence immediately from today (Thursday).
While addressing a joint press briefing at the Bagauda Kaltho Press Centre in Alausa, the Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Dayo Mobereola, said as much as the government empathized with the people on the difficulties they have been subjected to as a result of shortage of petroleum products, it would however not watch and allow the situation cripple the flow of traffic in the state.
Mobereola, who addressed journalists alongside the Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Steve Ayorinde and heads of all the government agencies involved in traffic management in the state, said the resolution of the State Government was borne out of the need to prevent the fuel shortage from degenerating into a state of anarchy.
He said: “Having empathized with the citizens, we are all aware that it is important to keep certain things in check and this is why we are addressing this press briefing in sync with the Pipelines and Product Marketing Company (PPMC) and the Department of Petroleum Resources (DPR) to send a strong signal to those who do not appear to be very mindful of the law particularly in the manner in which they are administering the sale of fuel all over time.
“In essence, what we are saying is that we will no longer accept indiscriminate queues that result in blocking traffic and easy flow of movement all over the state and that wherever this happen, we would have to deal decisively with any erring filling or petrol stations according to the law”.
Giving further details, Mobereola clarified that the action of the State Government became imperative owing to the fact that the state had been almost at a standstill as a result of fuel dispensation, saying it was the responsibility of dispensing filling stations to ensure that same was managed appropriately.
On the vehicles forming more than one lane, the Commissioner said: “Let me make it very clear that we will apprehend the vehicles that are going beyond one lane in queuing up for fuel. We will tow them away, charge them and fine them appropriately.
“The truth is the ease of making traffic easy is the responsibility of everybody starting from the state, the filling stations and the users. The indiscriminate queues has been going on for too long and it must stop because the minority cannot be punishing the majority and that is the problem the state has been facing and this has to stop.
“We have all our enforcement agencies with us; we have spoken to the PPMC and DPR as well and so from tomorrow, we are stating it categorically that all dispensing filling stations must maintain one lane and any vehicle that we see that is forming the second lane or going to the exit to want to go in to the filling station will be apprehended, towed away, fined and we are going to make sure that our Mobile Courts are working and punishing any erring motorist,” Mobereola said.
On his part, the Chief Executive Officer of Lagos 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 as the case may be.