…Be patient with us-LASG
By Olasunkanmi Akoni
Lagos Special Traffic Management Team has impounded at least 200 trucks in the last 48 hours in the Apapa axis for flouting the directive of the newly introduced electronic Call-Up System as well as indiscriminate parking on the road.
Meanwhile, gridlock has continued on the ever-busy Oshodi Apapa Expressway, despite the current effort to decongest the road as trucks and fuel tankers took over the road.
Residents, motorists and other road users were held up in traffic for several hours to get to their destinations.
Enforcement agents were nowhere to be found on the road as only men of the Nigerian Customs Service, truckers and members of the National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, were seen controlling traffic around Mle-2 and Otto Wharf area along Oshodi Apapa Expressway.
Also read: Apapa gridlock: Indiscipline, extortion regime, inefficiency, other things that keep trucks on road
Recall that due to seemingly intractable gridlock, Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu has vowed to publicly expose prominent Nigerians behind the intractable gridlock situation in Apapa and environs.
Barely 72 hours into the commencement of the new Call-Up System on Saturday, February 27, 2021, in the administration of port operations introduced by Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, Lagos state traffic team expressed determination to sustain the new order in Apapa and environs as gridlock eased off.
Reacting to the gridlock on Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, leader of state special traffic team and Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Mr Oluwatoyin Fayinka, said the government was not unaware of the situation along Oshodi Apapa Expressway but has been moving gradually to ease traffic on the axis.
According to him, “Our enforcement strategy is gradual. We have been cleaning up the other side of the axis at Area B, Ijora into the Nigerian Ports Authority.
“We are moving in gradually to other areas for clean up which include Mile-2 end and environs. As we speak, in the last 48 hours, we have impounded about 200 trucks over for various offences, ranging from non-possession of electronic call-up slip, Indiscriminate parking,
“The vehicles have been towed to Lagos State Traffic Management Authority,, LASTMA, Oshodi Yard and will have to pay fine before those vehicles will be released.
“Governor, Sanwo-Olu has given us the go ahead to enforce the rules of engagement in his determination to rid Apapa of gridlock, this we are determined to achieve.
“What you are experiencing now is the initial teething problems expected. We will get over it in due course. We are appealing to motorists and residents to be patient as everything is been done to arrest the situation and ensure the free flow of traffic.”
Earlier on Monday, during inspection and monitoring of compliance level on the new order, Fayinka, in the company of Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Mr. Gbenga Omotoso, expressed partial satisfaction, saying, “There is still room for improvement.”
He stressed that all hands must be on deck to ensure total sanity and sustenance of the present traffic situation in Apapa.
Sanwo-Olu, said electronic Call-Up System launched, last Saturday, in the Apapa seaports was designed to permanently address the movement of trailers in and out of the ports, and bring about traffic improvement along the corridor.
According to him, “The progress recorded in Apapa is hard-won. It took the State Government more than a year to gather all stakeholders on discussion table to agree on far-reaching approach to permanently address the problem.
“We gave a commitment that we will do everything possible to solve the gridlock problem of Apapa.
“Yes, you can say that it is taking us a year because we need to have a concerted effort we need to work alot from the background.
“But beyond, that we needed to collaborate with a lot of stakeholders on that corridor.”