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Apapa Gridlock – Vice President Osibanjo Calls on NSC And NPA To Assist

Apapa Gridlock

Nigeria’s Vice President and Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Apapa gridlock, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, has beckoned on the Nigerian Shippers’ Council and the Nigerian Ports Authority to assist in the execution of the Presidential Order issued by the President, last week, instructing trucks to evacuate the Apapa ports’ access roads within 72 hours.

The Vice President, who was represented by Mr. Kayode Opeifa, Team Lead of the Presidential Committee on Clearing of Apapa Port and Access Roads, made the call in a meeting held at the NSC’s Headquarters in Lagos.  He asserted that the task force was inaugurated by the presidency to offer long-term solutions to the recurrent traffic in Apapa and its environs within two weeks.
According to Opeifa, the new order decrees the immediate removal of all trucks from port access roads in which the Nigerian Shippers’ Council and the Nigerian Ports Authority are key agencies that would assist in the realisation and, therefore, urged the bodies  to rally round the task force.

The Presidential Task Force And Relevant Agencies’ Readiness.

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In order to ensure compliance with the federal government’s directive, he also expressed readiness to engage the law enforcement agencies. In his statements, he uttered that “Any truck driver that violates the Presidential order will face the music.”

Speaking at the meeting also was the Executive Secretary and Chief Executive Officer of the Nigerian Shippers’ Council, Mr. Hassan Bello, who was fully represented by the Director, Legal Services of the Council, Mr. Samuel Vongtau. He expressed optimism that the ambition of the committee would address irregularities that have characterized Apapa ports’ access roads while stating the agency’s readiness to give the task force the necessary assistance that would see to the realisation of their mandate.

Also speaking at the event, the Director, Inland Transport Services (ITS), Mr. Akintunde Makinde, said the Federal Government has started moves to involve support for the movement of containers to hinterland which would assist in addressing the ports’ congestion. In attendance at the meeting was the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Lagos State Government, Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Nigeria Police Force (NPF), Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Federal Road Safety Corp (FRSC), National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO), Presidential Enabling Business Council (PEBEC), and Apapa GRA Residents Association.

Impact Of The Apapa Gridlock To Business Owners And Residents.

Vice President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Kayode Farinto, has lauded the efforts by the government and the port authority, stating that it was a liberation to all stakeholders, as the NPA had triumphed in putting an end to their difficulty with the conversion of the lilypond terminal to a park.

Farinto also said efforts of the NPA to end the gridlock in Apapa will boost the ease of doing business, thus, making the port a center of international trade in West and Central Africa. He claimed that his members were losing over N12 billion monthly before the introduction of the Truck Transit Park.

The Lagos-Apapa Port Complex.

Nigeria’s largest and most active port complex, Apapa Port, located in Lagos, was built and financed by the colonial government of Nigeria.  The port contains facilities that include Apapa Quays, Apapa Dockyard, Apapa Petroleum Wharf, Third Apapa Wharf Extension, Bulk Vegetable Oil Wharf, Ijora-Wharf, Kirikiri Lighter Terminal, and Lily Pond Inland Container Terminal.

It became the country’s busiest port for exporting agricultural produce from the regions of Western and Northern Nigeria in the late 1920’s.

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