Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State has said that by next month (October), all the roads leading in and out of ports in the state would be opened for public use and that the state had donated 30 hectares of land for heavy-duty trucks to utilise.
Governor Sanwo-Olu spoke, on Sunday, during a five-hour tour of projects and infrastructure being developed on the Apapa corridor to ease traffic congestion that had become characteristic of Oshodi-Apapa Expressway.
He said: “We need to set out our activities in a methodical order and see how we redevelop Apapa. There is massive road construction that is going on in Apapa and the work is extensive.
“We are using concrete for roads that are being rebuilt. Liverpool and Creek roads have already been completed. By October, all the road network leading in and out of the ports areas would be opened up for public use.
“My message to our citizens residing and working on this corridor is that we have assessed the issues and we will be meeting with various operators and stakeholders.
“We will fashion out how we will all work collaboratively to bring about an efficient system that will deliver a permanent solution and diffuse the gridlock. This, we hope, will bring life back to Apapa.”
Sanwo-Olu also stressed the need to overhaul the terminal system at the ports, noting that there was no reason for trucks to park on the highways if their dedicated terminals were operational.
He disclosed that the state government had made a request to the Federal Government to prevail on the concessionaire that will be operating the 700-truck capacity Lilypond Terminal at Apapa to open the facility for use without further delay.
During the inspection tour, Sanwo-Olu asked why container-laden trucks usually disregard the state’s traffic laws and park on roads.
His query generated arguments among terminal operators, Nigerian Port Authority, NPA, and Maritime Transport Unions and Associations, COMTUA.
Following the ensuing blame game, Sanwo-Olu expressed disapproval of the truck drivers’ action and the failure of NPA to enforce extant regulations preventing trucks not yet approved for loading to park indiscriminately on the highways.