By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Lagos—Lagos State Government yesterday, described as act of deception and falsehood the response of the management of Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, to recent comments by Governor Babatunde Fashola on the persistent gridlock on the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, which has continued to cripple vehicular movement and business activities in Apapa and its environs.
NPA, in a statement by its Head of Public Affairs department, Mr. Musa Illya, had identified Lagos State Government as one of the biggest beneficiaries of the port concessions in terms of the revenue collected from importers as wharf landing fees, and other businesses generated by the port activities among others.
Fashola, about three weeks ago visited Apapa and lampooned the management of NPA over its inefficiency in monitoring the handling of cargo operations at various terminals as well as poor implementation of concession policy of the ports.
But the state government through the Commissioner for Transportation, Mr. Kayode Opeifa, urged members of the public to disregard the claim by the NPA spokesman, saying he was either selling lies or ignorant on the update of Apapa issues.
He said “Is either the proponent is under illusion to sell lies to the people or he is unaware of the issues surrounding Apapa regeneration plans between the Federal Government and the state government. We met with Federal Government, FG, in 2011, 2012, with Minister of Works, where an agreement was reached. The state government has implemented over 75 percent of the deal while the FG has contributed nothing.”
”He can go and verify. There has been no commitment from the FG. Only last Thursday, representatives of the Federal Ministry of Works met again to review the situation and they agreed to mobilise a contractor to fix the failed portions of the road and up till now, nothing has been done on it.”