Respite on the Apapa traffic gridlock

Faster than expected, sanity is being restored on the Apapa ports access roads weeks after the presidential directive to clear indiscriminate parking of trucks and ensure orderliness around the nation’s gateway.

Stationary trucks on Badia, Apapa, Ajegunle, Ikorodu roads, Eko Bridge and Apongbon have been cleared already while efforts are ongoing to clear the Mile 2-Coconut-Tin Can access road as observed during a media tour to major ports access roads yesterday.

The tour was led by the Presidential Task Force on the Restoration of Law and Order in Apapa Ports’ Area, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), the Nigerian Police Force (NPF), Lagos state traffic Management (LASTMA) and other port agencies.

The move was in line with the operational guidelines, which includes continuous stakeholders’ engagement as one of the critical strategies.

Vice President of the Presidential Task Force on the Restoration of Law and Order in Apapa Ports’ Area, Kayode Opeifa, noted that the port area has enough capacity to manage the trucks pending when a long-term solution is put in place.

Speaking during the tour, Opeifa said: “We don’t want people to think that there will be no trucks in Apapa but they will not be stationary. This is because the Apapa port plays a significant role in the nation’s Gross Domestic Product (GDP) after crude oil. Truck movement is an index of any economy, so we want trucks to move and not disturb other people’s business”.

He added that no truck will approach the Port directly but will wait in the Lily Port until it is called up. “The Lily Port is available and full operation has begun, though not 24 hours yet. We are pulling trucks faster so the port does not stay out of capacity. We know we need a call up system to manage that, so the manual call up system will be used two weeks from now but the electronic is underway,” he said.

Speaking on the refuse dump along the port roads, he stressed that they would be cleared in two weeks, after proper documentation.

“The Lagos State Waste Management Authority formerly could not access the port road but things are getting in shape now. We are fixing a six-lane road on Greek road and that expansion will ease congestion on other port routes.

“The government is aware of all the challenges but we are looking for a holistic solution. What we are talking about now is a comprehensive solution to the Port management. All agencies are now mobilised to play their role in ensuring ease of doing business,” he added.