Anambra State government on Tuesday banned loading and offloading of goods along the highway to ensure hitch-free human and vehicular movement ahead of Christmas and New year celebrations.
The ban followed the commissioning of two new motor parks by the government tagged ‘Northern Nigeria Routes Motor Parks Onitsha Anambra State’, at the Trade Fair Complex, near Army Barracks along Onitsha-Enugu expressway.
Inaugurating the terminals, Commissioner for Transport, Mr. Afam Mbanefo said the step was targeted at ensuring minimal or zero carnage and loss of lives before, during and after the Yuletide.
Mbanefo who was represented by the Permanent Secretary, Mrs. Nkiruka Okonkwo, said traffic congestion occasioned by loading and offloading of goods along the road would no longer be tolerated in the state.
He said, “Many people, especially traders and transporters who trade, load and offload goods along the road have been severely killed by vehicles which veered off the road following the loss of control.
“The government wants to avoid carnage and loss of lives along the Onitsha Enugu Expressway. We want hitch-free human and vehicular movement in the fast-approaching Yuletide season.
“The government has provided two big parks here “Northern Nigeria Routes Motor Park A and B, and we will not accept any breach by transporters and traders.
“The Parks are big enough to contain any vehicle loading and offloading goods for market traders around here.”
Earlier, Senior Special Assistant on Transpiration to Governor Willie Obiano, Hon. Eloka Maduekwe cautioned drivers and traders against loading or offloading goods along the road.
“Any trader or driver who flouts the directive will be arrested while his vehicle and wares be impounded and made to pay fine or any other punishment the state deems necessary.
“We want to ensure that travellers get to their destinations without sleeping on the roads due to traffic jam caused by people obstructing vehicular and human movements,” he stressed.