Lagos State Government hails drastic improvement in traffic in Apapa, an area known for traffic gridlock.
Charges terminal operators to support intervention.
Lagos State Government says it has discovered drastic traffic improvements in Apapa, an area once known for its notorious gridlock. This is as a result of research carried out to assess the aftermath of the impact of the intervention in subsidizing the traffic gridlock.
Recall that residents and motorists in Lagos were excited as Apapa notorious gridlock eased off with the take-off of NPA electronic truck call-up. Major access roads into the Apapa corridor were reported substantially free of traffic congestion.
The Special Adviser to the Governor of Lagos State on Transportation, Mr. Oluwatoyin Fayinka disclosed this during an operation review meeting with terminal operators at the Tin Can Island ports in Apapa.
Fayinka, who is also the Chairman, Traffic Management Enforcement Team, declared that the meeting would focus on continuation of efforts to enlist the support of all critical stakeholders in the Ports at Apapa to eliminate traffic gridlock which has the Terminal Operators playing a critical role.
He noted that traffic in and out of Apapa and its environs has improved drastically. He said “If you come in through Eko Bridge, Ijora, Sifas or Iganmu, the road is free. The only problem we are having now is from Area B to the Port”.
He elaborated on the plan to bring Shippers to the round table. This would definitely synchronize with the transport initiative of the present administration.
Fayinka said, “We have actually met with Shippers Council and they told us they are ready. We have agreed that the next meeting will be to engage the Shippers Council, the truckers, the terminal operators, Nigerian Ports Authority and every other stakeholder, so that they can all reveal their challenges”.
“This is necessary because we will want the Shippers Council to be up and doing in the evacuation of empty containers. It is their responsibility to remove empty containers from blocking the roads”, he disclosed.
The Chairman of Apapa Local Government Area, Mr. Adele Elijah noted that the time of making excuses is over. He then charged everyone to cooperate with the State Government on Apapa traffic gridlock intervention.
“The traffic situation has to be drastically reduced so that even your businesses can thrive. When the road is free, the turnover for you will be high. Traffic causes health, security, environmental and other societal problems. I am begging us, let us make this work”, the LG Chairman said.
Also speaking at the event, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Central Business Districts, Mr. Sola Giwa, informed the terminal operators to automate their operations and sync up effectively with the ETO system. This is a system that is designed to sequence and batch trucks coming into the ports.
Giwa also revealed that Truckers have expressed frustrations at some of the actions of the Holding Bay operators. He added that 48 hours evacuation will take place at Tincan just as it was done at Apapa Ports which was effective.
In her response, Princess Vicky Hastrup, Chairman Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), stressed that the existence of Petroleum Tank Farms within Apapa area was the beginning of the traffic woes of the area.
She asked the State Government to engage the Federal Government and relocate the Tank Farms. She said this giving the fact that the State was sitting on a keg of gunpowder.
The Forum also advised Tincan Port Operators to inform the authorities about members of staff and other officials indulging in sharp practices detrimental to the entire process.