By Levinus Nwabughiogu
ABUJA-House of Representatives on Wednesday urged the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) to immediately commence the process of relocating tank farms domiciled in the Apapa axis of Lagos State.
The House also mandated its Committee on Petroleum Downstream to liaise with NNPC to ensure that only tankers with Authority to Load (ATL) were allowed to go into Apapa.
It also urged the Ministry of Power, Works and Housing and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) to put pressure on the contractor handling the truck park at Tin Can Island to ensure timely completion of the site.
These were some resolutions the House took at plenary as a way of finding lasting solution to the perennial gridlock at the area.
The development was sequel to a motion by Hon. Ayodeji Joseph (Apapa Federal Constituency, APC) under Matter of Urgent Public Importance.
Moving the motion titled “Urgent Need to Address the Resurgent Traffic Gridlock in Apapa” earlier, Hon. Joseph recalled that several interventions of the Lagos State government amongst others to free the zone of serpentine traffic jams had failed, appealed to members to grant the prayers of his motion.
He said: “The House notes that the perennial traffic gridlock in Apapa has subsisted despite efforts of government to find a permanent solution to it.
“Also notes those economic and vehicular activities in the corridor which is a major gateway to the Nation’s foremost seaport has been adversely affected by the menance.
“Aware that in the first two weeks of September alone, over 2,000 trailers, trucks and oil tankers had massively flooded Ikorodu Road all through to Apapa in bid to get into the Port and tank farms to covey commofities to their various destinations.
“Also aware that in response to the recent blockage of all access roads to Apapa and the intractable traffic gridlock that resulted from it, the Lagos State Government ordered all trailers, trucks and oil tankers to stay off all the roads within the state.
“Further aware that Lagos State government has mobilized resources to ensure articulated vehicles stay away from Lagos until the traffic logjam is resolved while the representative of Apapa Constituency 1 in the State Assembly, Mrs. Mojisola Miranda has also raised concerns about the problem.
“Concerned that breakdown of operations at Apapa port is touted as the cause of the gridlock which extended from Apapa to Ojuelegba with its attendant dislocation of economic activities.
“Worried that if something urgent is not done, port activities will be in jeopardy and revenue to the nation’s coffers will dwindle astronomically.”
In their separate contributions, Honorables James Faleke, Rita Orji and Jide Jimoh who are all lawmakers from Lagos supported the motion.
When committed to voice vote by the presiding officer and Speaker Yakubu Dogara, the motion got the support of the House.
Meanwhile, the House mandated its Committee on Ports, Harbours and Waterways to investigate the cause of the dislocation in port operations which is suspected to have led to the renewed gridlock and report back to the House within 3 weeks.