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Lagos state government says it will begin operations involving a team of dedicated officers from Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASMA, and policemen from Area B to take over traffic control in Apapa.
Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu on Monday embarked on a fact-finding visit to Apapa Ports to ascertain the reason for the incessant congestion in the port area, despite provision of parking lots for trailers by the Government.
The team is to take over from the Federal Task Force that has been working to ease the perennial traffic gridlock in Apapa.
The governor decried the level of indiscipline among port players and promised to tackle head-on, the menace of extortionist tendencies levelled against security personnel in the Apapa environs.
“This is not the first time, certainly not the second and in fact this is about the third or the fourth time in my government, that we are trying to see how we can bring an enduring solution to the Apapa gridlock.
“On all of the times we have come, we knew that we are having a road construction, but you can see now that inside Apapa, there is significant progress. A lot of roads have been done.
“Today even being a public holiday, it is even difficult for us to say that we have achieved a 100 per cent traffic free flow into Apapa,” he said.
Mr. Sanwo-Olu added that there had been accusations over a cabal collecting money from operators and there were also counter accusations.
“You are aware that since last year the presidential task force has been working. Now, there is a process that is starting, in which the state government needs to take over that task force.
“One of the reasons for this trip is to start that process, to see things for myself.
“The state government is to set up a seamless operation to have a team of LASTMA about 400 to 500, dedicated to Apapa gridlock.
“To also have a team of policemen from Area B dedicated to the same gridlock. Understand what the airport police command is doing, because they are also part of the problem,” the governor said.
NewsWireNGR reports that the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi when he visited Apapa last week, had given orders that the port access roads be cleared immediately.
Recent reports also indicated that no fewer than 500,000 containers laden with raw materials belonging to manufacturing companies and traders are currently trapped at the Tin Can Island Port, Lagos.
The Chairman of Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), Remi Ogungbemi, however told journalists that truckers would reject any task force because they are only coming to extort them.
THISDAY also reports that the National Vice President of Association of Nigerian Licensed Custom Agents (ANLCA), Dr. Kayode Farinto, called on the federal government to resolve the crisis.
The government should be alive to its responsibility, the only way out of the Apapa crisis is intermodal transportation system. The government should connect rail to Tin Can Island port to ease the gridlock and assist the various importers by giving them subventions to ameliorate the effect of recession because by January to February the level of import will drop by about 40 per cent,“ he said.
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