June 9, 2021
The Lagos State Governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu has engaged stakeholders in Apapa towards finding a lasting solution to the resurgence of traffic that is crippling social and economic activities in the area.
The marathon meeting, which lasted for about four hours, was held recently and had in attendance the representatives of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Terminal Operators, Manufacturers, Security Agencies and others operating within the neighbourhood.
Speaking on the e-Call Up System introduced to electronically regulate the movement of trailers from seven different parks to the port on the basis of a Last-In-First-Out model, Governor Sanwo-Olu identified that corrupt practices among staff and law enforcement agents, who granted unauthorised entry to trucks around the ports, compromised the effectiveness of the process.
“NPA needs to make a scapegoat of some people, just like the State Government has been doing with LASTMA officers, as those caught have been shown the way out”, he said.
While reiterating that the clearing of Apapa was a promise he remains committed to, the Governor mentioned other issues contributing to the gridlock such as inadequate space for the fleet managed by Terminal Operators and the ongoing construction of roads around the ports to facilitate ease of movement of large volume of goods out of the environs.
His words: “Apapa port is congested, overstretched and the volume of goods coming in has outstripped its capacity. The Federal Government should plan to have another port as the State is doing with the construction of Lekki and Badagry Ports”.
Sanwo-Olu also stated that Apapa provides the gateway for about sixty to seventy percent of local petroleum products consumed in Nigeria, revealing that the pressure was made worse by the unruly attitude of tanker drivers who flooded the roads with too many tankers every time.
He emphasised that depot operators must have adequate facilities to accommodate their trailers as they cannot continue to be a law unto themselves.