…Says FG must revive ports in other states; Blames traffic gridlock on multi-agencies interference
…Says Apapa-Oshodi Expressway construction to commence in two weeks
By Olasunkanmi Akoni & Monsuru Olowoopejo
LAGOS—GOVERNOR Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State, yesterday, warned that the current situation in Apapa and environs is a disaster in waiting if not properly and immediately addressed.
The governor also tasked the Federal Government to revive existing Ports in other states of the federation so as to bring about a permanent solution to the perennial traffic congestion in Apapa axis of the state.
He also blamed the chaotic traffic gridlock on interference from multi-agencies established by the Federal Government to monitor ports activities.
The governor said this at the 3rd quarter, Town Hall meeting, 12th in the series, held at Community Primary School, Iberekodo, Akodo Road, Ibeju-Lekki area of the state.
Ambode said: “We do not need tank farms within the Lagos metropolis anymore. There are 68 tank farms in Apapa alone. Beyond Apapa, they have approved tank farm in Ijegun axis. And that is where we have a huge population. That is a serious danger waiting to happen.
“We need to distribute tank farm establishment to other parts of the state. This is what we believe should be done at this moment to free Lagos roads.”
He also urged the Minister of State for Petroleum and Department of Petroleum Resources, DPR, to work towards reviving the pipelines and stop issuance of approval for construction of tank farms in the state.
The governor said: “It is pathetic that the gridlock in the axis has become perennial in the state, it goes and come back.
“But the challenge is to give a permanent solution and in that reason, President Muhammadu Buhari directed his Vice President. Yemi Osinbajo to visit and provide a permanent solution.”
Revival of petroleum pipelines
While commending President Buhari’s intervention, Ambode maintained that the crisis confronting the axis was more than the gridlock which required a holistic approach. We all must know that Apapa crisis is more than a traffic issue. The problem in Apapa is that there are too many agencies and establishments disturbing the fundamentals within the axis.
“It is bad that we are still using trucks to lift petroleum products from Apapa to other parts of the country.
“As it is now, other ports in Nigeria must begin to work immediately to decongest gridlock in Lagos.
“Whatever has led to the continual use of trucks to lift fuel which is, vandalism of pipelines should be addressed immediately.
“We believe that this will allow the road to become free. We don’t need to continuously use taxpayers’ money to build roads that are destroyed by tankers.”
Apapa-Oshodi Expressway rehab
While commending the Federal Government for postponing the proposed Third Mainland Bridge repair, the governor, disclosed that repair works would commence on the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway in another two weeks.
Ambode assured that when completed it would ease the gridlock presently experienced within the Apapa axis.