By Ebun Sessou
Apapa, Lagos which undoubtedly used to be the commercial hub of the country is now living in the past no thanks to the traffic gridlock occasioned by the heavy duty and articulated vehicles, trucks and tankers that have blocked every part of the express road. Entrepreneurs, traders and shop owners in Apapa axis are going out of business as the area has become a no-go-area due to traffic gridlock just as residents are relocating from the area.
From Apapa/Wharf to Sunrise, Coconut, and Berger yard the road is impassable while people who have businesses to transact in the area have been lamenting seriously.
Speaking with Saturday Vanguard on her ordeal, Mary, 55 year-old trader based in Coconut lamented thus: “This road has become a problem. Most of the time, I walk to Mile 2 because of traffic. I spend more on transportation yet, we get nothing. I used to have an American customer in Beach land area but he had to relocate because of the traffic situation in Apapa. He has relocated to Ajah and now, I have lost a customer because of traffic.
“Many people have quit their businesses. The problem is affecting me because, it is through this business that I feed and train my five children in the university. I have been doing this business for 10 years. There is no business in Mowe where I live and that was what propelled me to be working in Apapa. Many of the companies have left Wharf, Apapa because of this problem”, she said.
Another businessman, Emmanuel told Saturday Vanguard how he left his business and joined his wife’s pure water business. “Since this problem started two years, I have abandoned my business and joined my wife in her business. The truth is that I must put food on the table for my children.
“I lost my customers because there was no way they could get to Apapa. Everybody is tired of complaining about this road and it seems the government at all levels have abandoned the area.
“Sometimes, Okada drivers charge between N200 and N300 between Coconut and Mile 2. Most of the time especially at evening, they would collect N400. The road is nothing to write home about and most shops have closed down”, he lamented.