By Olasunkanmi Akoni
LAGOS—As part of moves to tackle the challenges around Apapa, operators of shipping lines in Apapa ports have been accused of being the major cause of traffic gridlock being experienced in the area and environs.
This came as management of Apapa Local Government Area, LGA, said plans have been concluded to commence erection of road barriers to debar articulated vehicles from plying restricted routes aimed at reducing traffic logjam and providing palliative measure in the area.
Revelations came up at a stakeholder’s meeting, yesterday, held in Apapa Local Government, organised to find a lasting solution to the chaotic traffic gridlock.
Most of the shipping lines were accused of deliberately creating bottleneck by ensuring that trucks had delay in loading at the ports in order to make brisk business from collection of demurrage from them.
One of the stakeholders, identified as Mr. Nicodamus Udolo, a Trustee of Shippers Association Lagos state chapter accused the operators of frustrating every step put in place to fast track regular turn over and smooth loading of containers and trailers at the port.
While, describing the action as economic sabotage, he stressed, “for that reason alone people who have businesses in and around the Apapa ports, lose several millions of naira daily due to the recurring traffic bottlenecks.”
Speaking on behalf of Apapa Community Development Committee, John Avoseh lamented the recent loss of life of a toddler to traffic gridlock who died on the way to seek medical attention.
“Coming to Apapa has become a risk to residents and business owners. I support the move by the stakeholder to raise funds to support security agencies that will ensure a 24 hour surveillance of the situation, ” he said.
On his part, the chairman of the council, Elijah Adele disclosed that 15 areas had been identified for the erection of barriers on inner roads within Apapa to prevent articulated vehicles from plying them.
He maintained that one of the immediate solution to the problem in Apapa is ?to have in place 24 hours surveillance of the traffic situation in ensuring that drivers of the articulated vehicles adhere strictly to one lane rules.
Adele said, “We will commence the erection of barriers which will kick off next week because some people have sold their conscience and now working against plans to find solution to the problem.”
Others who shared their views at the stakeholder forum, stressed the need for more holding bays facilities in order to provide a safe haven for over 2,000 articulated vehicles that move into the port daily for different purposes.
They also appealed to government to expedite action on the ongoing construction work to ease movement in and out of Apapa.