Truck drivers have expressed worry over the blocking of the newly dualised Bishop Okoye Road, Mile 3, Port Harcourt by illegal street traders.
The Tide reports that Bishop Okoye Street is a link road joining Ikwerre Road and Mile 3 building materials area, known as Abuja by-pass and was dualised by the present administration of Governor Nyesom Wike with a view to decongesting the major roads.
A 15 tons truck driver heading to off load bags of beans along the Bishop Okoye road, Musa Yakasai, told our correspondent that he found it difficult to enter the road and off-load the goods to the owner due to obstruction caused by street traders.
According to him, “the truck is a heavy duty that needs enough space and allowance to negotiate a bend at the point of entry to the point of delivery, and it is for this reason that the Rivers State Governor, Nyesom Wike, knowing the economic importance of the road, opted to dualise it to ease the delivery of goods and services in the area, but the street traders will not allow the aspirations of the people- oriented governor to be realised”.
Another truck driver, Jude Ibe, said that drivers were experiencing difficulty in driving through the Bishoop Okoye road to deliver their goods because of what he described as total take-over of the road by street traders, pointing out that it was most difficult at the early hours of the day and towards the evening hours.
Ibe further stated that one side of the dualised road had been taken over by street trading, making it impossible for trucks to pass through the lane.
Speaking to The Tide last Monday, a trader, Mrs Ijeoma Abian, said she went into street trading for survival, saying that there were no enough space and stalls in the main market to accommodate them.
She also argued that the price of getting a stall was beyond what she could afford, therefore, street trading was the only option.
She urged the state government to expand and add more stalls at the Mile 3 market to accommodate more traders.
The Tide gathered that several efforts had been made by security agents to stop the illegal street trading, but to no avail.