APM Terminals Apapa has said it is a victim of the menacing Apapa gridlock, just like other stakeholders doing business in the port community.
In a statement issued yesterday, the company stated that its employees, service providers, contractors and customers also go through the harrowing traffic experience, like every other person.
â€œThese employees are the ones that operate the equipment that service the trucks and would not by any means delay or stop servicing trucks unnecessarily as it would equate to â€˜shooting ourselves in the footâ€™. We have always updated our stakeholders on the traffic situation in the Apapa area and it amazes us that APM Terminals is tagged as the cause of the situation.
We will not deter in doing what is right, and would always communicate the true position of things to you our esteemed customer. In the last 24 hours, we have gated out about 1,000 trucks, this is the reason for the movement of the trucks on the queue waiting to enter the port. Like we always say, if we do not gate out trucks, it is almost impossible to gate in new trucks,â€ the company explained.
APM Terminals Apapa, which is the operator of the largest container terminal in Nigeria and in the West African sub-region, also assured its customers that it would continue to update them on the traffic situation.
The Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Mr. Fatai Owoseni, had told THISDAY that all the relevant stakeholders that transact business around Apapa area of the state should carry out their respective obligations to ease the traffic situation in the area.
The Lagos police boss also appealed to business operators not to go to that axis of Apapa to transact business unless it is absolutely necessary, pointing out that the Nigeria Police will continue to carry out their obligations to control the â€œappallingâ€ traffic situation.
â€œThe trucks are not parked because they like to park like these. The whole of Apapa is more or less not motorable. It is a big challenge. You can see that if you move from here towards Surulere, all the roads have been taken over by the trucks, weakening the bridges as well,â€ Owoseni had said.
He noted that the traffic situation at Apapa also posed a security, stressing that in the event of any emergency, it will be difficult for emergency-response organisations to access the area.
The police boss added that it is unfortunate that the police have to bear the brunt of this â€œirresponsibility.â€
Everyone has an obligation. The police will not carry the obligation of the other person. This is appalling and of course, one of the things we will want to even say is that if it is not absolutely necessary for people to come and run business in this place, this place is not advisable for anybody to come and use, especially in the night, because if you have emergency, it is a challenge for emergency-response institutions. We hope that that organisation and the company that is responsible for this will see what they can do in order to make sure that they ease this madness. This is madness,â€ Owoseni added.