By MONSURU OLOWOOPEJO
Two years after the technical committee set up by the Federal and Lagos State governments to address issues affecting businesses in Apapa, the regeneration plan is yet to be fully implemented.
The regeneration plan is to help return the roads and the environment that had deteriorated to its original state and reduce the traffic gridlock in the axis.
It will be recalled that in 2012, both government set up the technical committee to fashion out strategies that would help revive Apapa from its bad state.
The committee, which was co-chaired by the Deputy Governor of Lagos State, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefilure and the Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo -Iweala, who led the Federal Government team in the committee.
Other members of the committee were: Minister of Works, Mr. Mike Onolememen, his former transport counterpart, Mr. Idris Umar and Chairman of the Ports Monitoring Committee, Mr. Sylvester Monye while the state team includes the deputy governor, Commissioner for the Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello and his transportation counterpart, Mr. Kayode Opeifa among others.
Checks by Vanguard showed that the 64-page report stated clearly the role of each government, and was submitted in June 2012 to the National Economic Council, NEC for onward consideration.
The committee stated that the central government would be responsible for 75 percent of the total cost, while the Lagos State government will bear the 25 percent of the cost.
Sources also said that two years after the technical committee submitted its 12 recommendations on Apapa regeneration plan, the response of both governments on the recommendations culminated into the current traffic gridlock experienced in the axis.
Vanguard learnt that while the Lagos State Government has commenced 25 percent of its responsibility on the plan by sanitization of cleared areas, landscaping & beautification of some open spaces under the bridges at Marine beach road and Leventis area of Apapa.
However, the central government, which has larger per cent of the project, was yet to commence action.
The committee estimated the total cost of Apapa regeneration plan at N11.60 billion, which it said would be borne by the federal and state government.
The fund is expected to help in rehabilitating the bridges and roads, bio remediation of the degraded areas, rehabilitation of abandoned trailer parks, dualisation of Wharf, Creek and Tincan roads, procurement of monitoring and heavy duty equipment, landscaping and beautification, among others.
It earmarked N56.50 million for bio-remediation of degraded areas; N1.42 billion for public lighting solution; N2.11 billion for landscaping and beautification; N97 million for initial cost of clearing; N585.25 million for procurement of monitoring & heavy duty vehicles; N466.91 million for security personnel; N33.24 million for sanitisation of cleared areas and N108.95 million for wire mesh fencing.
The committee earmarked N100.45 million for rehabilitation of Kirikiri trailer park; N114.40 million for rehabilitation of drainages and culverts and N6.49 billion for rehabilitation of roads (Creek, Wharf and Commercial) and Marine Beach service lane.
The committee noted that the state government bore the initial cost of N97 million, which it said was spent to clear criminal hideouts; dismantle shanties and unlock traffic gridlocks in April 2012.
The committee explained that the state government would bear 25 per cent of N694.20 billion meant for the erection of fence wall, procurement of heavy duty equipment and other logistics and N38.90 million for monthly sustenance, which it put at N466.90 million for a period of 12 months period.
Appealing to both parties, the committee said both governments should, “take immediate action on the execution of the Apapa Regeneration Plan as presented in the report, in order to prevent business paralyses, loss of revenue accruable to the Federal Government, re-occupation of the cleared areas and forestall the re-emergence of traffic gridlocks experienced on the access routes to Apapa ports, among others.
It added, “In 2012, traffic gridlock was reduced by 70 per cent immediately after the clean up exercise. But the situation eventually returned with traffic bottle neck particularly in the evening caused by tankers/trailers mainly as a result of delay at the entrance of the ports and deplorable roads, among others.”
It recommended that no trailer “will enter into Apapa through Ijora, henceforth. Road signs are to be erected immediately to re-direct traffic; provision of vehicle inspection terminals for clearance on road worthiness before the trailers can access the ports and the ports authority should ensure that trailers do not spend more than two minutes at the gate, since all the paper works would have been done at the parks.
“Dedicated lanes for trucks going into the ports will be provided on Tincan access road. The designs for both roads are ready for immediate implementation by the federal government,” the committee stated.