Lagos government has said the Apapa traffic gridlock has improved, even as it urged terminal operators to support the interventions put in situ to finish the traffic gridlock in Apapa and its environs.
The Special Adviser to the Governor of Lagos State on Transportation, Mr. Oluwatoyin Fayinka disclosed this during an operation review meeting with terminal operators at the Tin Can Island ports in Apapa.
Fayinka, who also doubles because the Chairman, Traffic Management Enforcement Team, declared that the meeting is in continuation of efforts to enlist the support of all critical stakeholders within the Ports at Apapa to eliminate traffic gridlock which has the Terminal Operators playing a critical role.
He noted that traffic in and out of Apapa and its environs has improved drastically, saying “If you are available through Eko Bridge, Ijora, Sifas or Iganmu, the road is free. the sole problem we are having now’s from Area B to the Port”.
Speaking on the decision to bring Shippers to the round table so that they will be in sync with the transport initiative of this administration, Fayinka said, “We have actually met with Shippers Council and that they told us they’re ready. we’ve agreed that subsequent meetings are going to be to interact the Shippers Council, the truckers, the terminal operators, Nigerian Ports Authority, and each other stakeholder so that they will all reveal their challenges”.
“This is important because we’ll want the Shippers Council to be up and doing within the evacuation of empty containers. it’s their responsibility to get rid of empty containers from blocking the roads”, he disclosed.
The Chairman of the Apapa Government Area, Mr. Adele Elijah, while charging terminal operators on the necessity to support the e-call up system, noted that the time of creating excuses is over and everybody must cooperate with the government on Apapa traffic gridlock intervention.
“The traffic situation has got to be drastically reduced so that even your businesses can thrive. When the road is free, the turnover for you’ll be high. Traffic causes health, security, environmental and other societal problems. I’m begging us, allow us to make this work”, the LG Chairman said.
Also speaking at the event, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Central Business Districts, Mr. Sola Giwa, informed the terminal operators to automate their operations and sync up effectively with the ETO system designed to sequence and batch trucks coming into the ports.
Giwa also revealed that Truckers have expressed frustrations at a number of the actions of the Holding Bay operators, adding that 48 hours evacuation is going to be executed at Tincan even as it had been done at Apapa Ports which was effective.
In her response, Princess Vicky Hastrup, Chairman Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), stressed that the existence of Petroleum Tank Farms within Apapa area was the start of the traffic woes of the world. She asked the government to interact with the federal and relocate the Tank Farms because the State was sitting on a keg of gunpowder.
However, the terminal operators promised the government that they’re going to not constitute any sort of encumbrance to the present intervention in situ to finish the traffic gridlock in Apapa and its environs.
The Forum also advised Tincan Port Operators to tell the authorities about members of staff and other officials indulging in sharp practices detrimental to the whole process.