The Federal Government has rolled out fresh intervention plan for the rehabilitation of the access roads to Apapa ports.The move, which is expected to bring respite to the residents and businessmen around Apapa and its environs, would see to reconstruction of the roads; relocation of empty trucks from the axis and building of new trailer parks, among others.
Government’s plan, monitored by The Guardian on its official twitter page showed that Dangote Group will carry out palliative works and reconstruction of some major sections of Apapa road and will be completed around June/July 2018 as part of its corporate social responsibility (CSR).
Besides, Honeywell Group would construct a trailer park, while BUA Group would carry out construction works on Tin Can road.A blueprint of the plan also revealed that the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) would ensure that empty containers within Apapa area would be relocated to holding bays while shipping companies would no longer be allowed to operate holding bays within the Apapa Port area. Also, tank farms will not be permitted within the Apapa area.
The ministry and NPA would ensure the licensing of access to trailer parks and port locations by NPA to commence, while expressions of interest (EoI) from private sector would be placed for the operation of trailer parks and holding bays in the Tin Can Island area.
Meanwhile, Chairman of Apapa Local Council, Adele Owolabi, has sought partnership with the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) to restore sanity to the Apapa community.
Owolabi, while on a courtesy visit to the agency lamented the situation in Apapa and the danger it posed to the people and the Nigerian economy, noting that it requires urgent action, which could only be achieved through collaboration among all stakeholders.
Responding, Director General of NIMASA, Dakuku Peterside said services to the community bring development, hence the need for continuous partnership with host communities.
Peterside, who was represented by the Executive Director, Finance and Administration, Bashir Jamoh, noted that the traffic situation in Apapa was of concern to all parties, because of the security threat it poses.
Consequently, the Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, has approved the reconstitution of a joint task force, with the mandate to end the traffic gridlock in the Apapa axis. He directed that issuance of licenses for more tank farms be put on hold.
The State Commissioner of Police, Imohinmi Edgal, confirmed this after the state’s Security Council Meeting in Alausa, saying the Apapa gridlock was largely caused by the backlog of articulated vehicles, trucks and petroleum tankers that try daily to access the Apapa ports; as well as the ongoing rehabilitation of some roads on the axis.