Apapa gridlock worsens 10 days after VP helicopter flyover
by JOSHUA BASSEY
November 24, 2017 | 12:30 am| | | Start Conversation
Ten days after the Federal Government through Vice President Yemi Osinbajo took a helicopter tour of Apapa and listed measures to free the port city of its traffic menace, the situation has worsened, as nothing absolutely is being done to salvage the axis.
As a result, businesses in Apapa have collapsed as roads leading in and out of the port community remain clogged.
Horde of petroleum tankers and dry cargo trucks continue to stay permanently on roads, blocking access to the two premier ports-Tincan and Apapa Ports.
Loaded trucks emanating from the ports are trapped in the gridlock, unable to deliver imported goods to various warehouses across the country.
Experts put the cost of the lockdown at about N200 billion annually in man-hours. The situation is such that trucks with perishable goods are left on the road for some days.
Businesses within the axis are bleeding with many of their staff now forced to work from home.
Residents of Apapa are not left out as they find it difficult going out and returning to their homes.
On Thursday, the traffic situation was so terrible that workers in various offices were left in a state of nightmare on how to get out of the logjam.
Traffic flow on the Ijora-Apapa axis had since Tuesday been on a standstill as construction work on the road continues.
There is the fear that most of the frozen fishes on trucks may never be good for human consumption by the time they are delivered finally to their warehouses.
Johnson Abah, an importer of frozen fish told BusinessDay he has lost huge sums because for three days, his goods were trapped in gridlock.
Osinbajo who flew over Apapa to have first-hand aerial assessment of the area last week had said the Muhammadu Buhari administration would find all possible solutions to end the gridlock at Apapa.
Osinbajo gave the assurance at a Government/Private sector meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on how to speedily and comprehensively resolve the issue.
The Vice President had 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,” Osinbajo said, listing steps to be taken to include relocation of containers within the Apapa area to holding bays, shipping companies no longer being allowed to operate holding bays within the Apapa Port location, while tanks farms would no longer be permitted within the Apapa area.
The NPA was also directed to process licensing access to trailer parks and port location through advertisement seeking for expression of interests from the private sector to operate trailer parks and holding bays within the Tincan Island area. A task force to manage the flow of traffic within the Apapa and Tin can Island environs was also to be established.
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