.. Short term solution around the corner- he assures

By Olasunkanmi Akoni and Monsuru Olowoopejo

GOVERNOR Babajide Sanwo-Olu, Thursday, said that the traffic problem in Apapa and its environs was multi-faceted and required the joint effort of the Federal and State Governments as well stakeholders to find a lasting solution.

A choked-up section of the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, taken over by trucks. More photos on Page 37. Photos by Joe Akintola, Photo Editor, Kehinde Gbadamosi, Bunmi Azeez, and Akeem Salau.

Sanwo-Olu, who had earlier promised to tackle the Apapa traffic gridlock in the first 60 days of assumption, said this while inspecting the traffic situation in the axis.

While assured residents that a short term solution was around the corner, Sanwo-Olu said: “We must thank the Federal Government for setting up a Presidential Taskforce that will work with the state government to resolve the gridlock in Apapa.”

“The facility is owned by the federal government but the users are Lagos citizens. We have discovered that the problem of Apapa is multi-faceted; one agency cannot resolve the issue.

“From where we started at the Lily terminal, they are developing along Malu road a terminal that can contain 1000 trucks.

“It is a well constructed terminal that will be converted to a temporary holding bay for the trucks.

“They have started moving the trucks there but the movement is not fast enough.

“Once they do that, all the trucks on the Ijora Bridge, and others within that axis can utilize it”, he said.

He also said: “During the tour, we realised that NPA and Dangote have worked on the wharf Road up to the Apapa Port but it is sad that the trucks are still parking on the road.

“From our interactions with the stakeholders, it was discovered that NPA has a concession company, APMT.

“We realise that there is a disconnect in the activities of picking and dropping of containers in the ports.

“One of the strategies we will be engaging is NIMASA, shipping councils, NPA and others to resolve the issue especially on how they can push the commencement date for the collection of demurrage.

“The 1000 capacity Tin Can Ports Terminal will be available by next month. What is left to complete in the water system, toilet facility and power supply is the aspect left to fix.

“Another solution, which is the third, is the land we have within the Tin Can Port. The land will need the cooperation of the Federal and State government. We will need to move the people that are occupying the land because the occupants are illegal squatters. We need to source for money to complete the project.

“There are other smaller terminals that the committee is working on. The final solution is round the corner because it will take us lesser time to get here.

“We are hoping in due cause, we will get all these issues behind us.

“But the final solution to ending the gridlock within Apapa is an economic solution. We need to build another port. It is a long term solution. We will take it upon ourselves, with the support of the NPA, to develop the Lekki and Badagry ports.”