The Buhari administration will find all possible solutions to end the gridlock at Apapa area of Lagos State, according to Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN.
Prof. Osinbajo said this on Tuesday at a Government/Private sector meeting at the Presidential Villa, Abuja, on how to speedily and comprehensively resolve the issue.
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,” Prof. Osinbajo said.
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.
In the same vein, 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:
· To reduce congestion and ease traffic; empty containers within the Apapa area to be relocated to holding bays.
· Shipping companies no longer to be allowed to operate holding bays within the Apapa Port location.
· Tanks farms not to be permitted within the Apapa area.
· Process of licencing access to trailer parks and port location by the Nigerian Ports Authority to commence.
· 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.
· A task force to manage the flow of traffic within the Apapa and Tin Can Island environ to be established.
Also present at the meeting were the Minister of Defence, Mansur Dan-Ali, and representatives of the Inspector-General of Police and the Comptroller-General of Nigeria Customs.