The Lagos State Government has constituted Traffic Management Enforcement Team to resolve Apapa gridlock.
The Committee Chairman, Hon. Oluwatoyin Fayinka, disclosed this in a statement signed by the Asst. Director Public Affairs of Lagos State Ministry of Transportation, Mrs Bolanle Ogunlola, in Lagos on Thursday.
Fayinka stated that the seven parks were at; Ojota, Obanikoro, Oregun, Olowotedo-Ibafo, Amuwo-Odofin, Orile-Iganmu, Okorisan-Lekki/Epe. These parks he said will keep trucks away from the roads until they are called up for loading.
He added that both committees met within two weeks to rub minds on issues occasioned by loading trucks and trailers at the port, which have extended to major parts of Lagos.
The Special Team which was saddled with the responsibility of ensuring zero tolerance to traffic offenders and seamless traffic management system were to ensure restoration of sanity in and around Apapa.
The Chairman of the Team, the Special Adviser to the Lagos State Governor, on Transportation, Hon. Oluwatoyin Fayinka explained that the Team had been able to design a road map and the strategy to be adopted.
“We are in discussion with the various Stakeholders; the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) Terminal Operators and Association of Trucks Union on the best way to do business around Apapa Ports without breakdown of law and order’
“Part of the discussions held with the Truck Owners Association operating around Apapa was that each company should acquire Park Terminals for their fleets of trucks to serve as holding bay pending when they will be called up for loading.
“NPA is already ramping up the Call Up System that will ensure that trucks that are not yet called for loading do not hang around the ports constituting obstructions to traffic.
“A total of seven Parks have been identified for the purpose of holding bay for trucks at various locations around the metropolis, they are at; Ojota, Obanikoro, Oregun, Olowotedo-Ibafo, Amuwo-Odofin, Orile-Iganmu, Okorisan-Lekki/Epe.
“This parks will keep trucks away from the roads until they are called up for loading,” Fayinka said.
The Chairman, Expressed displeasure at the situation of the port with its attendant traffic gridlock which had paralyzed so many businesses around Apapa corridor with extension to other parts of the state.
Fayinka affirmed that the Nigerian Port Authority’s Call Up System will help greatly in reducing traffic gridlock around Apapa.
“Full enforcement will commence soon after due consultation with all Stakeholders.
“The bridges around Apapa corridor which have been turned to parking lots for trucks were not designed to carry the weight of the trailers for a long period of time.
“The heavy duty trucks being parked along the bridge leading into the ports will damage the bridge over time and cause a collapse which would be catastrophic to the state and its residents,” Fayinka said.
A member of the Traffic Management Enforcement Team, Hon. Shola Giwa said getting rid of stationary vehicles on the bridges and roads within a short period of time, would only achieve with the cooperation of NPA as the pivotal piece in the situation.
Giwa asked the NPA to make the Call-up System accessible to the Chairman of the Team to enable effective enforcement of the new directives for articulated trucks and tankers.
He said that it would also provide a synergy that would bring a lasting finality to the gridlock situation in Apapa.
The General Manager, Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, Mr Jide Oduyoye who was also a member of the Team, charged the Nigerian Port Authority to turn away trucks and tankers that were not road worthy.
He said that they should allow the traffic laws of the State run its course on deviant companies by embracing transparency in solving the gridlock problem at the port.
Oduyoye also pitched that a rescue system by the NPA be put in place in the interim to secure the immediate evacuation from the roads and prevent extortion from the Law Enforcement Agencies stressing that the bad state of the trucks and trailers cause them to break down on key road networks which degenerates to gridlock and cause great inconveniences for motorists.
The NPA, the General Manager, Security, Nigerian Port Authority, (NPA) Mohammed Jamil Khalil assured the Agency’s unrelenting support in freeing up Apapa from traffic congestion.
He added that the NPA will work together with the State Government to proffer both short and long-term solutions to the problem.
The Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Transportation, Mr Kamar Olowoshago, stated that the Smart City vision could only be actualized if all Stakeholders retrace their steps by taking responsibility for the damages done on Apapa and channel efforts and commitment to tackling the gridlock problems immediately.