By Kingsley Adegboye
LAGOS—VICE Chairman of Presidential Task Team on the Restoration of Law and Order in Apapa, Mr. Kayode Opeifa, yesterday, attributed the perennial gridlock on the Oshodi/Apapa expressway to the deplorable state of the roads on the axis.
He, however, said the job of the task team was not to proffer a permanent solution to the gridlock in Apapa and its environs but to create an enabling environment for permanent solution.
This came as the Lagos State Government urged motorists to steer clear of Mile-2 to Tin-can Island Port, along Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, from Monday till today to carry out repair works on the bad portion of the road.
Opeifa, who noted that the main task of the team is restore law and order, eliminate extortion and make Apapa and environs free of gridlock, said: “We have restored law and order to the area. We have stopped the issue of extortion levelled against the military taskforce earlier set up for management of traffic in the axis. Before now, N35 million exchanged hands daily between truck drivers and task force personnel on Apapa/Oshodi Expressway. The truck drivers were meant to pay N65,000 per truck to get to the ports daily.”
The Task team leader, who made this known to Vanguard at Sun Rise on Apapa/Oshodi Expressway where the task team is currently working on the deplorable portion of the expressway, said the portion of the dual carriageway had to be cleared to enable trucks to move to the ports.
Pointing out that the economy cannot be shut down because Apapa and environs needs sanity; he reiterated that activities must go on at the ports alongside the operations of the task team in Apapa and environs.
Explaining that without fixing the deplorable portion at Sun Rise bus stop, there cannot be free flow of traffic from Mile 2.
Opeifa described the Sun Rise situation as thorny because the entire area between Mile 2 and Coconut had completely collapsed before the present intervention.
He also pointed out that without the present intervention, the contractor handling the reconstruction of the expressway cannot work.
He, however, assured that the trucks at Mile 2 would be cleared latest by Saturday.
Opeifa also enumerated terms of reference of the task team to include: Restoration of law and order to Apapa Ports and environs, decongestion of all impediments in the axis, elimination of extortionist tendencies among security operatives and port operators.
It will also ensure removal of trucks from bridges and road and creation of access roads for other motorists, building of more capacity to serve as loading bays for Apapa Port and Tin-Can Port, among others. He said the team was able to achieve about 100 per cent of terms of reference which included short, medium and long term solutions.
LASG shuts Mile-2, Tin-can Island road for repairs
Meanwhile, the Lagos State Permanent Secretary, Ministry of Transportation, Dr. Taiwo Salaam, in a statement, said the road would be shut for 48 hours.
Salaam stated that the road will be closed to enable the construction company speed up the palliative repair works on the corridor due to incessant and avoidable accidents experienced by motorists.
He, therefore, urged all truck drivers to avoid the corridor to allow the repair works which is being done in the interest of motorists.