•  Says other ports will be put to use to ease traffic

Chiemelie Ezeobi

The Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday said he would personally pursue the approval for the repair of roads leading in and out of Apapa. He also promised that the Federal Government will decentralise the ports to ease traffic.

Osinbajo, who said this at the stakeholders’ meeting held at Western Naval Command, Apapa, Lagos, noted that in order to ease traffic gridlock in Lagos government was taking steps to address the security situation hindering the use of the six ports around the country.

In a bid to find lasting solution to the perennial traffic snarl in Apapa and its environs, the stakeholders met in Lagos to brainstorm on solutions.

Stakeholders present were the Ministry of Works and Housing, Ministry of Transportation, PTML, Apapa Residents Association, Nigerian Ports Authority, National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG) workers, APMT, Lagos State Government, Nigerian Navy, the police and Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), amongst several others.

The vice president in his speech said the Federal Government had no excuse for the current traffic situation bedeviling Apapa and its environs.

Touching on the issue of bad roads, which was cited by stakeholders as the major cause of the traffic snarl, he said plans were on to ameliorate the situation.

He said the major reason why the six ports around the country were presently not used to their full capacities was because of security challenges.

He said a maritime security arrangement had been approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC), adding that soon, security arrangement would be in place to enable the ports to become fully functional.

He said government was working hard to get approval for the repair and rehabilitation of the roads, particularly the Apapa/Oshodi expressway and other roads around the Liverpool, and Tin Can Island port area.

The vice president said the approval for the rehabilitation of Apapa/Oshodi Epressway, which had hitherto been delayed would be secured within two weeks.

He said governement had no excuse for the deplorable state of Alabama roads
considering the huge revenue being realised from that area.

He said, “We have a responsibility to ensure things work properly. We are working hard to get approvals to do all the roads, especially Oshodi-Apapa Expressway and Mile 2 to Liverpool. We are trying to look at immediate steps that could be taken to speed up the process.

“We will get all approvals within two weeks to do the work. We know the state of the road especially Coconut, TinCan Island, Warehouse, Leventis and Creek Road.

“Also, the government has entered into talks with a new contractor for the refurbishment of the narrow gauge rail, which would take some of these containers out of port area.

“There was an earlier arrangement with General Electric (GE) but that did not yield result. So we have started consultations with another company and they are coming in for negotiations.”