By Eguono Odjegba
PORTS stakeholders have lauded the new Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu for taking the issue of the port roads traffic problem to heart, and for demonstrating a huge sense of urgency to solving the problem.
The follow-up to his declaration penultimate week that he will end the Lagos port roads traffic gridlock within six days, Sanwo-Olu, barely one day in office last Thursday, visited the port, driving through the Tin Can Island and Apapa Port Complex access road, for on the spot assessment of the traffic situation.
Accompanied by a combined team of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, Police and military personnel, the governor arrived Tin can Island at about 4.45pm, even as news of his visit spread like wildfire, setting off excitement and speculation that perhaps, the new governor actually meant business when he offered a timeline to end the ports traffic gridlock.
The issues of traffic control and management formed part of his task on his first day in office, expressed in his first Executive Order, to address the issue of traffic control and management, fixing of potholes, sanitation as well as cleaning of drainages.
The order emphasises zero tolerance for environmental abuses, including illegal and indiscriminate dumping of refuse and construction of structures on drainages.
During the signing, Sanwo-Olu was quoted as saying: “I think we have to make some points about issues that happen around transportation, potholes on our roads, blockages and rest of it. I think it’s something we need to tackle immediately.”
Commenting on the development, president of All Ports Unified Freight Forwarding Practitioners Association, APUFFPA, Prince Mike Okorie said: “This is a rather good omen that the state’s executive governor, not only promised to partner with the federal government to find solution to this traffic madness, but has physically visited to take a look.
“We commend this sense of urgency; we appeal to him not to look back and not to spare any effort in bringing this traffic situation under control. We will continue to pray for him and we urge him to remain steadfast and not to succumb to any contrary forces.”
On his part, the vice-president, National Association of Road Transport Owners, NARTO, Dry Cargo Sector, Lagos State Chapter, Alhaji Abdullahi Mohammad-Inunwa, said his organization and the totality of truck owners group are willing to partner with the state government to achieve sanity on the port access roads.
“We are very happy to hear that the new governor has visited, we think it is the sign of good things to come. NARTO is ever ready to partner with him and his government to solve this problem. We think that if past governments had been serious with governance, these roads wouldn’t be like this. It is a terrible thing that officials of government are happy that the road is like this and are making wealth out of our sufferings.
“Well, all we can tell the governor is that all of us in the transport chain is ready to work with him to achieve a solution to the problem of this gridlock.”