Truck drivers have been given 48 hours to clear off Lagos bridges.

The military and the State Government issued the ultimatum on Wednesday  during a stakeholders meeting  at the Apapa Headquarters of the Western Naval Command (WNC).

Areas such as Apapa, Mile 2, Ijora and Kirikiri are badly affected/

At the meeting  were the Flag Officer Commanding (FOC) WNC, Rear Admiral Slyvanus Abbah; Permanent Secretary (PS), Lagos State Ministry of Transport, Dr. Taiwo Salau; Commander, 9 Brigade, Nigerian Army (NA), Brig.-Gen. Adiku Attu; Base Commander, Nigerian Air Force  (NAF), and Air Commodore Mike Olatunji.

Also present were a  Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) manager, Aisha Ali-Ibrahim,  representatives of Dangote Group, National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers (NUPENG), containerised truck drivers, Apapa Residents Association, the police and the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA).

Rear Admiral Abbah said the  trucks’ presence on the bridges constituted a security risk, adding that they could be easy targets for terrorists.

The FOC warned that the bridges could collapse because of the static weight they had been forced to carry for over a decade.

He lamented the  manhour and resources the navy wasted whenever it  moved personnel for ground operations from Navy Town, Ojo to  Apapa Base.

Abbah said: “We cannot continue like this. This gridlock from Apapa to Mile Two and then from the stadium up to Eko Bridge does not do anyone good.

Salau said part of the problem was that Apapa Port was overstretched.

According to him, the port was built for 30 million metric tons but was currently importing over 80 billion metric tons, all of which are sent to their destinations by road.

The PS said the government had completed a holding bay that could accommodate 3,500 tankers at Orile, adding that work is ongoing on another one that can take 2,700 containerised trucks.

Salau said: “The bridges were built to carry light load and not heavy weights as they have been subjected to. I am afraid that no bridge in Lagos can stand integrity test.

“I have not seen anywhere in the world, where a port that discharges goods of this capacity does not have rails to move them to loading bays of shipping companies.