Breaking: FG tackles Apapa gridlock, makes crucial statement

Breaking: FG tackles Apapa gridlock, makes crucial statement

The Buhari administration says it has resolved to find all possible solutions to end the gridlock at Apapa area of Lagos state.

Nigeria's vice president, Yemi Osinbajo made this known on Tuesday, November 14, at a government/private sector meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

The meeting was scheduled on how to speedily and comprehensively resolve the issue.

Laolu Akande, senior special assistant to the president on Media & Publicity made this known.

Akande said: "The vice president further directed that the federal ministry of Power, Works and Housing and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) implement clear objectives to tackle the Apapa traffic gridlock. “We should look at all the components and find a quick solution.”

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In his remarks, the minister of power, works and housing, Babatunde Fashola, noted that Nigeria ports had capacity for 34 million metric tonnes of cargoes per annum, but which had been exceeded, as it was now processing about 80 million metric tonnes per annum. He also identified poor traffic management as a major cause of the persistent gridlock along Apapa access roads.

Also, the managing director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, said the NPA will constitute a strong task force to address the issue.

Both Fashola and Usman assured the vice president that the issues will be tackled in a holistic way, not only to fix the problem, but also to support the federal government’s Ease of Doing Business reforms.

Private sector stakeholders, including the President, Dangote Group, Alhaji Aliko Dangote; Chairman, Honeywell Group, Dr. Oba Otudeko; and the Chairman, BUA Group, Alhaji Abdulsamad Rabiu, were present at the meeting and they all made commitments.

As part of its Corporate Social Responsibility, the Dangote Group will carry out palliative works and reconstruction of some major sections of the Apapa road, which is expected to be completed by June/July 2018. In the same vein, Honeywell Group will construct a trailer park, while BUA Group will carry out construction works on the Tin Can road.

Others actions to be taken by the Ministry of Works and the Nigerian Ports Authority include:

1. To reduce congestion and ease traffic; empty containers within the Apapa area to be relocated to holding bays.

2. Shipping companies no longer to be allowed to operate holding bays within the Apapa Port location.

3. Tanks farms not to be permitted within the Apapa area.

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4. Process of licencing access to trailer parks and port location by the Nigerian Ports Authority to commence.

5. Advertisement seeking for expression of interests from private sector to operate trailer parks and holding bays within the Tin Can Island area to be issued.

6. A task force to manage the flow of traffic within the Apapa and Tin Can Island environ to be established.

Meanwhile, NAIJ. com had also reported that as a result of the traffic gridlock at Apapa, no less than 82 companies relocated, leading to huge economic loses for Lagos state and the country at large.

According to reports, the revelation was made by Owolabi Adele, Chairman, Apapa Local Government Area, at a stakeholders meeting on Wednesday August 30.

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