The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has explained how his administration in partnership with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and other stakeholders in the maritime sector was able to get the heavy articulated vehicles off the road around the Apapa axis and improve traffic along that corridor.
This is as the governor has warned that the state government would resist any attempt by individuals and maritime operators that may want to reverse the progress being recorded along the Apapa corridor.
This disclosure was made by Sanwo-Olu on Wednesday while speaking at the formal hand over of newly improved 3 traffic-prone junctions along the Lekk-Epe expressway.
The Governor said the electronic Call-Up System launched, last Saturday, in the Apapa seaports was designed to permanently address the movement of trailers in and out of the ports, and bring about traffic improvement along the corridor.
While sharing the details, the Governor described the progress recorded in Apapa as a hard-won, disclosing that it took the State Government over a year to bring together all stakeholders on the discussion table to agree on a far-reaching approach to permanently address the problem.
Sanwo-Olu said, “What we are seeing is the beginning of the lasting solution we have brought to Apapa. Our appeal is that we are not out of the problem completely yet. Our citizens can now see that a journey that took them three hours can, indeed, take between 15 and 20 minutes to commute. Everyone can now see that when we work together, indeed we can solve our problems internally.
“We have taken some troublesome people that are benefiting from the gridlock out of the way. Whatever they were earning illegally has been taken away from them. We know they will want to make an attempt to fight back. We will not stop at anything to ensure that anybody that tries to retract the progress or wants to take us back to gridlock in Apapa will be fought against. We will bring out their names and shame them.”
The Governor vowed that any corporate organisation, security operative, NPA or State Government official who attempts to circumvent the newly instituted traffic procedures around the Apapa seaports would be named and shamed publicly.
The Governor said the State was serious about bringing a lasting solution to the Apapa congestion, stressing that the Government could no longer condone the careless attitude of truckers clogging the highways with heavy-duty vehicles.
He said part of the State’s efforts was to approach the Federal Government for the unbundling of the inefficient Presidential Taskforce on Apapa gridlock and took over the traffic management in the area.
Sanwo-Olu added that State Government also met with stakeholders, including the Federal Ministry of Transportation, Maritime operators and seaports unions.
He said: “I commend NPA’s Managing Director and management for working with us on this agenda. My appeal is to other stakeholders in the maritime sector who have not signed up on the electronic Call-Up System we have embarked on. I call the big logistics companies, including Sifax, Dangote, Flour Mills, Tunde Folawiyo and others, to come and collaborate with us on this progress.
“Let us have a system that our citizens will be proud of. We will stop at nothing to sustain the progress achieved. Our team will be working round the clock to keep the system working. This is one of our modest efforts to deliver what we promised in solving traffic and transportation challenges. We will not relent in doing anything required to ensure traffic improvement in Apapa.”