As part of efforts to further reduce the number of man-hours wasted in the perennial traffic gridlock in Apapa, the Lagos State Government has promised to deploy about 400-500 officers of the
Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, Police and other relevant agencies that would be strictly dedicated to ensure seamless operations.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu made this known during an inspection of Lily Pond Container Terminal, Creek Road, Eleganza, Tin Can Island Port, all in the Apapa environs.
Last week, the Nigeria Shippers’ Council had released a statement that the Presidential Task Team on traffic management in Apapa had been disbanded and had been replaced with a Ministerial Implementation Committee to ensure law and order.
Governor Sanwo-Olu who was unhappy with the state of things in the Apapa axis explained that his administration was not trying to set up another taskforce.
He explained. “We cannot be ending one taskforce and setting up another, that is not it, it is mainly for us to set up a seamless operation, escalate some of this things to the IGP, have a conversation with Minister of transport, get NPA to understand what its roles are. We are trying to bring about a cohesive metrics where all the stakeholders in Apapa understand and appreciate the various role that everybody needs to play”
After listening to complaints from stakeholders, the Governor who acknowledged that the issues around the Apapa axis are multi faceted said the ongoing road rehabilitation in the area is progressing, and commended those who are law abiding amongst the stakeholders and have been making use of the Parks provided for them instead of blocking the road.
The Stakeholders had complained about the delays caused by the handing over process at the ports which takes about 8-10 hours and also alleged that security operatives deployed to ensure sanity have been extort them.
“A lot of evil are happening here, if you go there now, you go lay three hundred thousand naira for you to pass one truck, still yet, they won’t pass you, you go dey there for more than one month; Dem dey collect two hundred, three hundred thousand naira from mile 2 down here, and when you get here, NPA go collect money, police go collect money, Port swf no dey work” Some of the stakeholders alleged.
They appealed to the state government to ensure speedy loading of containers at the Ports as they were been forced to pay demurrage on cargoes even when they are not responsible for the delays
Reacting to this, Governor Sanwo-Olu told the stakeholders to provide evidence of extortion and reiterated his administration’s commitment to the ease of doing business.
“Give me evidence of people collecting money from you, i just need to have examples, we are going to make such people scapegoats because it is part of ensuring that we ensure ease of doing business, if businesses are very expensive to run, they will pass on this costs to the customers” Sanwo-Olu emphasised.