By JP Ashedzi
Following the joint agreement between the Senate and Lagos State Government to collectively tackle the Apapa Gridlock, operations to abate the situation has already started.
Lagos State Government, in conjunction with the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA and Nigeria Police in the early hours Thursday, embarked on strict enforcement operations to remove all abandoned and indiscrininately parked trucks within Apapa and its environs, particularly, Oshodi-Apapa Expressway.
Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, also called on the executive and legislature to develop the blue economy in Nigeria by paying greater attention to the sector.
The move for joint efforts in tackling Apapa gridlock was expressed during a courtesy call by the Senate Committee on Marine Transport to Governor Sanwo-Olu at the Lagos House, Marina.
Meanwhile, on the enforcement, the General Manager of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, Mr. Bolaji Oreagba, through, the Director, Public Affairs and Enlightenment Department of LASTMA Mr. Adebayo Taofiq, explained that the decision which was taken after the expiration of a ‘Removal Order’ issued to truck drivers would ensure general safety of motorists and allow unimpeded free flow of traffic around the entire Apapa axis.
Oreagba, who led the combined enforcement team, disclosed that over 18 trucks have so far been removed in accordance with the government’s zero tolerance for gridlocks and indiscipline.
He added that the enforcement operations which would be a continuous exercise was to checkmate the excesses of those trailer a drivers and restore sanity around Creek Road, Etisalat Corridor, Trebor Junction, Liverpool, down to Tin-Can first/second Gates to Coconut, Trinity, Sunrise and Mile-2 axis.
According Oreagba said, “The Lagos State Government, being a responsible and responsive one, will ensure that pppevery motorists have a smooth ride from the Port Gate inwards Apapa-Oshodi Expressway and not only trailers carrying containers.”
The General Manager said efforts had been made in the past to restore sanity and bring back the glory of Apapa, which had been truncated by the indisciplined attitude of trailer drivers.
According to Oreagba “Series of meetings have been held with the Petroleum tanker/trailer drivers branch of the National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, other transport stakeholders to educate their members and ensure that they desist from indiscriminate parking and being indiscipline on the road.
“All tanker/ trailer drivers are advised to adhere strictly to the new directive, as the government will not hesitate to enforce traffic rules and regulations to the letter.”