….Says no plan to ban ‘Danfo’ in Lagos
By Olasunkanmi Akoni & Kingsley Adegboye
Lagos State Government, yesterday, expressed dissatisfaction over the current traffic congestion in Apapa and its environs, despite the introduction of the electronic-Call-Up system, saying there was more to be done to restore sanity to the axis.
Commissioner for Transportation, Dr. Frederick Oladeinde, said this during the Year 2021 Ministerial Press Briefing, as part of activities to commemorate the second anniversary of the Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s administration, held in Alausa, Ikeja.
Oladeinde said: “Sequel to the taking over of Apapa Traffic Management and control from the Presidential Task Team, the state government set up the Apapa Special Traffic Management and Compliance Enforcement Team, headed by the Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Toyin Fayinka, to restore sanity and socio-economic prosperity to Apapa and environs.
“We have partnered with the Nigeria Ports Authority, NPA, in the introduction of an e-Call-Up system for truck access into the ports, collaborated with NPA in the establishment of eight truck parks (holding bays) in different locations, across the state, to help get trailers off the road.
“We initiated the expansion of the Asiwaju Bola Ahmed Tinubu, ABAT, Truck Park from 12 hectares to 31 hectares to increase the capacity of the park and accommodate more trucks in the Apapa area.
“The lasting solution to Apapa gridlock is to have other seaports, that is why the Lagos State Government is constructing the Lekki Deep Seaports which is expected to be ready in 18 months with another one in Badagry as well as the development of rail and water transportation in the state, so when these projects are completed, it will serve as relief to Apapa gridlock permanently.
“We have deployed about 2,000 Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, personnel to manage the traffic around Apapa.”
READ ALSO: Apapa gridlock: Sanwo-Olu’s traffic team helpless as miscreants, “okada” riders take over road
On the issue of those sabotaging the e-call up system, Oladeinde warned that “The state government will not condone any fraudulent act in the system and we are determined to deal squarely with saboteurs as the governor has repeatedly assured on bringing back sanity to Apapa.
“However, the situation in Apapa is a work in progress, gradually we shall get there.”
On the closure of burnt Airport Flyover around Toyota, along Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, which had been shut to traffic about two months ago, the commissioner said funding has been a major factor delaying commencement of repair works by engineers of the Federal Ministry of Works.
No plan to ban Danfo in Lagos
Dismissing reports making the rounds of plans by the state government to phase out the yellow commercial buses, popularly called Danfo, the Transport commissioner said: “The Lagos State is not phasing out yellow buses but modifying their operations to allow for proper regulation of the sector.
“It will be unfair to say we will kick out the yellow buses because we will only have unemployment and more problems. We plan that the drivers will be reformed, trained and asked to form cooperatives so they can come together and get financial incentives and also get buses and pay in installments.”
Also speaking, the Governor’s Special Adviser on Works and Infrastructure, Aramide Adeyoye, while speaking on activities of the ministry, disclosed that the administration had been able to deliver 51 iconic projects within two years.
Speaking on the proposed multi-billion naira 4th Mainland Bridge, Adeyoye said: “The 4th Mainland Bridge, which started years ago, became a top priority of the Sanwo-Olu administration. The administration, in its resolve to ensure quick delivery of the project, had enhanced the role of Private Sector Partnership in the delivery process.
“Last February a request for qualification was issued in respect of the project whereby 32 firms, which expressed interest were shortlisted. Furthermore, 10 responses to the request for qualification were received from interested applicants.
“The bids of these 10 applicants, which have been scaled down to six, are currently being evaluated and the names of successful pre-qualified bidders to participate in the request for proposal stage are expected to emerge by December 2021.”