The Federal Government has disclosed that it is planned that the perennial traffic in Apapa and its surroundings will end within the first quarter of 2021.
This disclosure was made by the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Hassan Bello, on Friday, November 27, 2020, when he received the National Advisory Committee set up by the presidency on African Continental Free Trade Area at the council’s head office in Lagos.
According to a report from the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), Bello said that the council has put in motion, machinery to put an end to the perennial gridlock that has brought to a halt, business and socio-economic activities in that axis.
He also said that the sorting out of the gridlock and other issues in the ports and along that corridor would ensure the utilization of the benefits in the AfCFTA to the country.
The NSC boss said, “We have a deficit on infrastructure, issues in rail, road, connectivity between our ports and the hinterland and elsewhere in Africa. I am an optimistic person and that is why I want to say that by March, the first quarter of 2021, the gridlock in Apapa will disappear.’’
This is because we are approaching it in a scientific angle, first we have to make the ports digital and contactless, no need to go to the port to make the payment or other transaction, all these will be online,’’ he said.
Bello promised the Nigerian Ports Authority would deploy electronic call-up system to manage traffic, customs on e-customs, provisions of scanners.
What you should know
Apapa which is a commercial/industrial hub in Lagos and most importantly has the largest seaports in the country, has been under intense gridlock as all entry/exit points leading into and out of the area are under lockdown due to construction work, which is at different levels of completion, around that corridor.
In order to restore sanity on the Apapa axis, following the total collapse of law and order due to indiscriminate parking of heavy articulated vehicles, President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated a Presidential Taskforce headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Comrade Kayode Opeifa as Vice Chairman.
The Presidential Taskforce restored some level of normalcy on the axis with the disappearance of trucks and tankers on the bridges and roads on Ikorodu road, Iganmu road, Eko Bridge and other axis leading to Apapa.
However, there have been serious concerns among stakeholders and residents in the area over the ability of Lagos state government to sustain normalcy following the withdrawal of the presidential task force.