Presidency Orders Clearance of Apapa Gridlock Within Two Weeks
- The directive also mandated the immediate removal of all trucks from the bridge.
- Decisions made include the implementation of a workable Empty Container Return and Export Container Truck Handling Policy, amongst others,
The Presidency on Wednesday ordered immediate clearance of the Apapa gridlock and the restoration of law and order to Apapa and its environs within two weeks.
The Presidency in a statement signed by the Senior Special Assistant to the Vice President on Media and Publicity, Laolu Akande also directed trucks and tankers operators to vacate the Port Access Roads within the next 72 hours.
The directive also mandated the immediate removal of all trucks from the bridges and roads within Apapa and all adjoining streets leading into the Apapa axis.
According to the statement, the directive was as a result of an emergency meeting convened by President Muhammadu Buhari and chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, on the 25th of April, 2019.
According to the statement, the meeting proffered lasting solutions to the gridlock around the Lagos Ports, as the traffic congestion has continued to restrict all operations and livelihood in the area.”
According to Akande, before the directive was given, key heads and representatives of relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government, including the Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola; Inspector General of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu; representative of the Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral B.E.E Ibe-Enwo; Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Salaam Taiwo Olufemi; and the Executive Director, Marine and Operations, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Dr. Sokonte Davies, among others were at the meeting.
“Consequently, a Presidential Taskforce, chaired by Vice President Osinbajo was established to restore law and order to the area within 2 weeks.
“The Taskforce, which will report directly to the President, has included on its Terms of Reference the development of an efficient and effective management plan for the entire port area traffic, including the cargo, fuel distribution and business district traffic; enforcing the permanent removal of all stationary trucks on the highway, and the development of an effective manual truck call-up system, pending the introduction of the electronic truck call-up system.
“It also includes the implementation of a workable Empty Container Return and Export Container Truck Handling Policy, amongst others,” Akande said,
Members of the task force, he said, include Mr. Kayode Opeifa, former Commissioner of Transport in Lagos State, as the Executive Vice Chairman; a representative of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC); the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA); and the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC).
Other members include a special unit of the Nigeria Police Force led by a Commissioner of Police, representatives of the Truck Transport Union, the Lagos State Government through the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), and other relevant MDAs.