Traffic Suspended On Suez Canal As Bid To Refloat Grounded Ship Hits Trouble

A handout picture released by the Suez Canal Authority on March 25, 2021 shows Egyptian tug boats trying to free Taiwan-owned cargo MV Ever Given (Evergreen), a 400-metre- (1,300-foot-)long and 59-metre wide vessel, lodged sideways and impeding all traffic across the waterway of Egypt’s Suez Canal. Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority said it was “temporarily suspending navigation” until refloating of the MV Ever Given ship was completed on one of the busiest maritime trade routes.
AFP / Suez CANAL

 

 

The owners of a giant container vessel blocking the Suez Canal said Thursday they were facing “extreme difficulty” refloating it, prompting Egypt to suspend navigation through one of the world’s busiest shipping lanes.

The Suez Canal Authority (SCA) said it was trying to refloat the Panama-flagged MV Ever Given, a 400-metre (1,300-foot) long vessel which veered off course and ran aground in a sandstorm on Tuesday.

Satellite pictures released by Planet Labs Inc show the 59-metre wide container ship wedged diagonally across the entire canal.

Egypt’s Suez Canal Authority said it was “temporarily suspending navigation” until refloating of the MV Ever Given ship was completed on one of the busiest maritime trade routes.
AFP / Suez CANAL

 

Japanese ship-leasing firm Shoei Kisen Kaisha said it owned the giant vessel and was facing “extreme difficulty” trying to refloat it.

“In co-operation with local authorities and Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement, a vessel management company, we are trying to refloat (the ship), but we are facing extreme difficulty,” Shoei Kisen Kaisha said in a statement on its website.

“We sincerely apologise for causing a great deal of worry to ships in the Suez Canal and those planning to go through the canal.”

As shipping specialists warned it could take days or even weeks to budge the vessel, the Suez Canal Authority announced it was “temporarily suspending navigation”.

Maritime sources told AFP Thursday that a new dredger had been deployed to speed up the operation while northern convoy ships remain docked in the waiting areas of the canal.

Satellite pictures released by Planet Labs Inc show the 59-metre wide container ship wedged diagonally across the entire canal.

“We’ve never seen anything like it before,” said Ranjith Raja, Middle East oil and shipping researcher at international financial data firm Refinitiv.

“It is likely that the congestion… will take several days or weeks to sort out as it will have a knock-on effect on other convoys.”

– ‘Days, maybe weeks’ –
The blockage has already hit world oil markets. Crude futures surged six percent on Wednesday as traders assessed the likely impact on deliveries.

Broker Braemar warned that if tug boats are unable to move the giant vessel, some of its cargo might have to be removed by crane barge to refloat it.

“This can take days, maybe weeks,” it said.

The vessel’s managers, Singapore-based Bernhard Schulte Shipmanagement (BSM), said its 25 crew were unhurt and the hull and cargo undamaged.

A MarineTraffic map showed large clusters of vessels circling as they waited in both the Mediterranean to the north and the Red Sea to the south.

Historic sections of the canal were reopened in a bid to ease the bottleneck, with dozens of ships waiting at both ends of the waterway.

The waterway drastically shortens travel between Asia and Europe because it prevents vessels from having to navigate around southern Africa’s Cape of Good Hope.

The Singapore-to-Rotterdam route, for example, is 6,000 kilometres (3,700 miles) and up to two weeks shorter than going around Africa.

It is an “absolutely critical” route because “all traffic arriving from Asia goes through the Suez Canal,” said Camille Egloff, a maritime transport specialist at Boston Consulting Group.

Nearly 19,000 ships passed through the canal last year carrying more than one billion tonnes of cargo, according to the SCA.

Egypt earned $5.61 billion in revenues from the canal in 2020

Lagos’ Anti-One Way Squad Impounds 42 Vehicles In Friday Traffic Law Enforcement

 

Three police officers and a naval rating are part of the offenders whose vehicles were impounded on Friday in the enforcement carried out by the Anti-Oneway and Other Traffic Offences Squad of the Lagos State Government.

The traffic-offenders met their Waterloo during the Squad’s operations along Apapa-Oshodi Expressway and Mile 2 area of the State.

No fewer than 42 vehicles, including two articulated trucks and commercial tricycles, driving against the traffic were arrested by the Squad led by the Commander of policemen in Governor’s Monitoring Team (GMT), Shola Jejeloye, a Superintendent of Police (SP).

The Friday enforcement was jointly carried out by the Squad and men of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA).

The Squad was specially created, last Monday, by the Commissioner of Police, Mr. Hakeem Odumosu, at the instance of Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu, with the specific mandate to arrest and impound vehicles plying one-way, BRT lanes and also commercial motorcycles operating in restricted areas.

The mission assumed a dangerous turn when a commercial bus driver driving against traffic on Cele Bridge made an attempt to ram into the operational vehicles of the Anti-One Way Squad in a bid to avoid arrest.

Rather than stop, the driver of the bus, which was fully loaded with passengers, dangerously meandered through the gaps in the convoy and made an attempt to hit officers on sight. The bus revved to a stop when the reckless driver hit a stationary water truck. The driver fled immediately, leaving the bus passengers to their fate.

Also, two police officers driving a Pickup marked “Escort” on a one-way lane at Toyota Bus Stop along Apapa-Oshodi Expressway were accosted by the Squad. The vehicle was impounded alongside the car of a naval rating driving against traffic close to Itire roundabout.

Another police officer driving a private Toyota Camry car was arrested by the Squad in Mile 2 area.

Various commercial buses and tricycles obstructing flow of traffic at various locations were also arrested and towed to the Taskforce office in Alausa.

Speaking during the operation, the GMT Commander, Jejeloye, vowed that the Squad would not relent in its bid to achieve its mandates and return sanity on the roads.

Jejeloye described one-way driving as a security issue, saying the menace usually endangered the lives of road users obeying traffic laws. He added that many commuters had lost their lives as a result of one-way driving.

He said: “We are, again, sounding a note of warning to motorists who do not want to obey the Lagos State Traffic Laws. We will not rest on our oars until we ensure road users follow the regulations and bring about free flow of traffic.

“We also have the Governor’s mandate to ensure those causing obstruction on our highways are arrested, whether those trading on the road or vehicles. We have marked the notorious areas and we will burst them soon. This operation will be regular and shall be sustained in the interest of law-abiding Lagosians.”

Jejeloye appealed to the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW) and other transport unions to caution their members against driving on one-way and obstructing traffic flow.

The GMT boss said the Squad would not spare commercial bus drivers arrested for traffic offences, stressing that vehicles and their drivers would be taken to court.

“I am also using this opportunity to reach out to transport unions, whether road or national. They must warn their drivers that are notorious for committing traffic offences. We don’t want to disturb their lawful work, but they also must not be on the other side of the law. Let them respect traffic regulations and there will be no problem,” Jejeloye said.

During the enforcement, the Squad rounded up commercial motorcycles plying restricted areas within the metropolis.

Other areas where the enforcement was carried out include Ikeja, Maryland, Fadeyi, Jibowu, Palm Grove and Yaba.

Third Mainland Bridge: Alternative Routes Are Ready, Lagos Govt Tells Motorists

BREAKING: Third Mainland Bridge Reopens
A file photo of a section of the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos, south-west Nigeria.

 

The Lagos State Government has asked motorists to use alternative routes during the partial closure of the Third Mainland Bridge.

In a statement issued by the Ministry of Transportation on Friday, the government said the six-month exercise to be embarked on by the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing would target “fixing the worn out expansion joints on the structure of the bridge.”

The Commissioner for Transportation, Dr Frederic Oladeinde, who signed the statement noted that the state government was committed to the free flow of traffic during the period.

He stated that ongoing repair works on the alternative routes highlighted for traffic management were being rounded up in readiness for the partial closure slated for Friday, July 24.

Raising concerns on some failed sections of the alternative routes, the Commissioner confirmed that the bad roads have been fixed.

He listed the failed routes as that Iddo inwards Carter Bridge, Market Road inward Herbert Macaulay Road, Herbert Macaulay road by Abeokuta Street, Herbert Macaulay by Cemetery and Apapa inward Oyingbo.

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Oladeinde explained that the first phase of the bridge rehabilitation would focus on Oworonshoki inward Lagos Island in the morning with traffic diversion from 12.00 midnight to 1.00 pm while the Lagos Island inward Oworonshoki would divert traffic in the afternoon from 1.00 pm to 12.00 midnight.

The commissioner also advised motorists heading towards Ikeja and Ikorodu from Osborne Road, Ikoyi in the morning to make use of the Carter Bridge to access Eko Bridge through Ijora Olopa which would lead them through Funsho Williams Avenue to Doman Long Bridge to Ikorodu, or use Carter Bridge to Iddo through Oyingbo to Herbert Macaulay to Jibowu and link Ikorodu Road.

For motorists coming from Victoria Island, the state government asked them to utilise Ozumba Mbadiwe Road to Falomo Bridge through Alfred Rewane to Old Kingsway Road, Osborn to Ilubirin and Catter Bridge.

As a second option for this category of motorists, he advised them to take Bonny Camp to Independence Bridge to Marina Bridge through Apongbon to Eko Bridge, Ijora Olopa, Iddo, and Oyingbo.

Stressing further, the commissioner urged afternoon road users inbound Lagos Island are advised to use Ojota on  Ikorodu road to access Funsho Williams Avenue through Eko Bridge/Apongbon axis or utilize Ikorodu road to access Fadeyi/Jibowu/Yaba axis to access Oyingbo-Iddo to Carter Bridge.

Alternatively, Oladeinde stated that motorists can also use Oshodi/Charity through Agege Motor Road to access Cappa to link Ilupeju Bypass or Mushin to get to Town Planning Way to link Ikorodu road or access Moshalasi/Idi-Oro from Mushin to access Funsho Williams avenue and connect Eko Bridge to get to Apongbon or use Empire road to access Yaba to link Oyingbo-Iddo axis.

“In the same vein, Motorists coming from the International Airport to Lagos are advised to use Oshodi-oke to get to Town Planning to link Ikorodu road,” the commissioner said.

He however disclosed that repair works are ongoing on the remaining routes highlighted for traffic diversions to enhance free traffic flow along the corridor during the rehabilitation works.

PHOTOS: Flood Hits Parts Of Lagos After Heavy Rains

One of the areas flooded in Lagos on June 18, 2020.

 

 

Thursday dawned in Lagos with the heavy rains which disrupted early morning activities in the nation’s commercial city.

This led to floods taking over most streets as many residents were forced to stay indoors and those who attempted to step out were held in traffic.

According to Channels Television reporters on the road, cars and trucks have been held up in gridlock as a result of the gridlock.

Some of the places where traffic has built up due to the floods include Agege, Iju Road, Victoria Island, Lekki, Ikeja, Oshodi, Ogudu, and Ketu among other parts of the state.

On the Long Bridge axis of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway, the traffic was heavy inbound Lagos, but it was smooth out of the state.

However, some motorists were seen driving against traffic while some commuters took the option of using motorcycles, defying the safety implications, the state ban order, and the drizzle.

For some of the commuters, it was preferable to trek in order to get to their various desired destination.

See the photos below:

LASTMA Dismisses Reports On Ban Of Traffic Officers

 

The Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA) has asked motorists plying Lagos roads to disregard social media reports on the ban of traffic officers.

In a statement on Monday, LASTMA General Manager, Mr Olajide Oduyoye, dismissed the claim that the decision came from a meeting between Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu and the National Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW).

Oduyoye who maintained that “there was no meeting between Lagos State Government and the NURTW,” stressed that “the 2018 Traffic Law clearly spelt out the duties of LASTMA officers.”

According to him, it is irresponsible and mischievous for any individual to spread false information about the agency.

The LASTMA boss noted that the government had always emphasised the “need for LASTMA officials to uphold the law, irrespective of anyone involved.”

He, therefore, called on the public to ignore and disregard the report which he said was designed to confuse and hoodwink motorists into breaking traffic rules.

Lagos CP Declares State Of Emergency On Traffic, Deploys Additional 1,000 Personnel

 

Barely two days after taking over as Commissioner of Police for Lagos State, CP Hakeem Odumosu, has declared a state of emergency on traffic management and control in the State.

He has also ordered the immediate deployment of an additional 1,000 Police officers to traffic duties.

According to a statement signed by the Police Public Relations Officer in the state, DSP Bala Elkana, the CP gave the order during an emergency meeting he summoned in the Command’s Headquarters to review the current traffic situation in the State.

In attendance were Deputy Commissioners of the Police Department of Finance and Administration, Department of Operations, Criminal Investigation Department and Rapid Response Squad.

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Also, in attendance were Area Commanders, Area Operations Officers, State Traffic Officer, Divisional Traffic Officers across the State and the Chairman Lagos State Taskforce on Environmental and Special offences, among others.

The CP also reviewed the time for duty report for Traffic Officers to take care of the peak hours.

Consequently, traffic duty officers will run shifts between 10:00 am and 10:00 pm while the second shift will be 10:00 pm to 10:00 am, providing a 24-hour coverage.
They will all operate in their usual reflective jackets.

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According to the CP, the measure will help in ensuring a free flow of traffic and will also curb the menace of robbery during traffic.

Meanwhile, the Commissioner of Police called on Lagosians to obey traffic laws and accord the police officers on traffic duties maximum cooperation.

Road Diversion Commences For Lagos-Ibadan Expressway Reconstruction

Road diversion and partial road closure on Monday commenced in preparation for the reconstruction of a portion of Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

The portion of the road set for reconstruction is from Berger Bus Stop to Kara Bridge.

Security and traffic management officials have been deployed to the scene of the diversion to control security and traffic situation.

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Federal Controller of Works in Lagos State, Adedamola Kuti told Channels Television that as soon as the diversion is completed, the road construction will commence.

“We are starting from towards the end of the Bridge.

“Those who are leaving Lagos, we will restrict them to their lane while those who are coming into Lagos, we will move them to the inner-bound lane after which we can now secure the construction zone,” he said.

The Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) had earlier on Sunday announced that due to the reconstruction work, movement from Kara Bridge inward Berger would be sealed off while traffic would be diverted into the other part of the road going out of Lagos.

A travel advisory was also released to ease movement for those who will be plying the road.

See the travel advisory released by LASTMA below:

Ambode Apprehends Soldier, One Other Driving Against Traffic

 

Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, on Monday came down hard on some motorists who drove against traffic along the Muritala Mohammed Airport Road in Ikeja.

In a statement by his Chief Press Secretary Habib Aruna on Tuesday, the governor decried the flagrant abuse of the State Traffic Laws.

Ambode who was returning from Abuja where he had attended an event apprehended a Nigerian Army personnel who drove a space bus with registration number JJJ 290 AC.

On sighting the vehicle, he alighted from his car and reprimanded the officer for “showing a bad example” contrary to what the Nigeria Army is known for.

The governor reprimanded another offender who drove a saloon car with registration number LSR 445 ER, for breaking the law regardless of the dangers involved in driving against traffic.

He condemned the manner at which some motorists drive ‘one way’ to beat the traffic along the Nigerian Air force Base inward International Airport Road in the Ikeja axis.

Governor Ambode, thereafter, ordered the immediate seizure of the vehicles and directed that the offenders be prosecuted in line with the provisions of the traffic laws on the state.

See more photos below;

VIO Inducts 33 Special Traffic Mayors In Cross River

 

The Department of Vehicle Inspector Officer (VIO) in Cross River State has inaugurated 33 special traffic mayors in the state.

The 33-man team was inducted in Calabar the state capital, with the Governor Professor Ben Ayade as the grand commander.

The officials are expected to assist the department in traffic management and control as well as rescue operations during the yuletide season and beyond.

The Chairman, National Conference of Directors and Chief Road Traffic Officer in the state, Mr Paul Bepeh, stated that part of their responsibilities will also be to assist in decongesting traffic and engaging in public enlightenment where necessary.

Police Deploy Additional 500 Officers To Lagos Island

 

The Lagos State Police Command has deployed additional 500 policemen to various routes on the Lagos Island with a special focus on Apogbon, TBS, Eko Hotels and environs.

According to a statement signed by its Public Relations Officer, CSP, Chike Oti on Friday, the deployment is part of renewed efforts to curtail criminal activities and minimise gridlock in the areas.

Oti further explained that it was necessitated by the series of events coming up on the Island some of which are The Experience and Adekunle Gold’s concert.

He also mentioned that there would be a surge in vehicular and human traffic because of people those embarking on religious pilgrimages to the RCCG Holy Ghost Congress at Redeem Camp and Shiloh at the Winners’ Chapel.

To ameliorate the foreseen situation, Otti said the State Commissioner of Police, CP Edgal Imohimi, directed that 500 policemen be posted to Lagos Island to boost the number of men already on ground in order to prevent crime and ensure a smooth flow of traffic.

He further stated that the Command will be collaborating with the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), LASTMA and other relevant traffic management agencies to ensure a smooth flow of traffic in the state.

The CP warned criminals who might want to take advantage of the upcoming events saying that anyone caught will be summarily dealt with.

Imohimi also enjoined Lagosians to report suspicious characters and movements to the police through its toll-free emergency numbers 112 and 767.

He assured residents of a peaceful yuletide season and urged Lagosians to enjoy moderately during the festive period.

Motorists Relieved As LASTMA Officials Clear Fallen Truck On Otedola Bridge

Traffic on Otedola bridge

 

Travellers and motorists were relieved on Tuesday after emergency workers cleared a truck that fell on the Otedola Bridge en route to Berger in Lagos State.

A traveller who pleaded anonymity told Channels Television that the truck fell while trying to avoid a tanker carrying diesel that fell at Mobil inward Otedola on Monday evening.

“I have been here for over two hours. It was multiple accidents that happened there (pointing to Otedola Bridge) but they have cleared it now,” he said.

The road was cordoned off, although two lanes are moving beside the tanker.

The Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) took to its Twitter handle to make the announcement earlier.

It said, “Fallen Tanker on Otedola Bridge, emergency responders deployed to the scene. Motorists are advised to be patient. Details soon.

“The Fallen Tanker is loaded with diesel, all emergency responders @ the scene of the incident. Road cordoned off for immediate recovery. Motorists are implored to be patient on this one.

“Location of Fallen Tanker is @ Mobil INW Otedola en route Berger, it is covering about 10% of the road. Emergency Responders on the ground for recovery/ Traffic building up from Conoil U-turn. Two Lanes moving beside fallen tanker.”

LASTMA also advised travellers and motorists to ply an alternative route through CMD road inward Otedola.

 

See Photos Below:

 

FRSC Announces Traffic Diversion On Lagos-Ibadan Expressway

FRSC Announces Traffic Diversion On Lagos-Ibadan Expressway

 

The Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) has announced a temporary traffic diversion around the Ibafo axis of the Lagos-Ibadan Expressway.

Ogun State Sector Commander of FRSC, Mr Clement Oladele, disclosed that the diversion would take place in the hours of Sunday, August 26.

Mr Oladele explained that the decision was to enable the construction company building the pedestrian bridge at Ibafo bus stop erect the beams of the bridge.

In a statement signed by the Public Education Officer in the state, Florence Okpe, and posted on Facebook on Wednesday, the FRSC urged travellers to bear with them as a result of the inconveniences of the diversion.

The Corps also asked motorists to cooperate with FRSC officials and other relevance agencies that would be deployed in the area to control the diverted traffic.

“Motorists are accordingly advised to observe lane discipline and enjoined to drive cautiously while obeying traffic rules and regulations around the diversion area and on all other road corridors,” it said.

FRSC asked motorists who notice traffic emergencies to contact the agency through its toll-free number ‘122’.