…As e-Call up system, Apapa-Oshodi Expressway collapse
..Traffic robbery cases on the rise
.FG awards section 2 of Apapa-Oshodi Expressway for rehab
By Olasunkanmi Akoni and Godfrey Bivbere
Amid total neglect and non-challant disposition to duty motorists, commuters and truck drivers in Apapa environs have called for immediate intervention by Lagos State Government’s over the dilapidated road and poor traffic management along Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, Mile-2 Tincan Port access road.
The call came following two weeks of agonising gridlock that has subjected road users to untold hardship, crippling business activities as well as danger to lives and property.
The newly introduced electronic-call-up system by the Nigeria Ports Authority, NPA, to regulate the movement of trucks into ports have collapsed completely, as operators abandoned the system, parking Indiscriminately on the road. The improvised opening at the road median by Otto Wolf, along the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway has compounded the gridlock, as vehicles struggle to pass through as the only way out and into the port access roads, coupled with several ongoing road rehabilitation in the axes.
There is total confusion at Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, by Lacasera bottling company, opposite Fatgbems Filling Station, as a result of a deep pothole, almost dividing the road into two, leaving the fast degrading service lane for motorists to play, resulting in a standstill situation.
Seizing the opportunity of the situation, traffic robbers in possession of dangerous weapons, daily rob motorists and commuters of their valuables both daylight and night. And despite several public complaints and call for help, there are no police team patrolling the area giving the robbers, confidence and space to operate at will.
Motorists have also thrown traffic rules into the wind as they drive haphazardly against traffic.
A late Sunday declaration of a state of emergency on various dilapidated highways and carriages in Lagos did little to abate the traffic snarl that again brought the state to its knees on the first working day of a new week.
The recent downpour last week also worsened the state of the road with a puddle of rainwater.
A concerned motorist, Mr Mukaila Alabi, why calling on the governor for help, said, “The area has always been known for its traffic congestion, but lately it has grown worse due to the recent failing condition of the road infrastructure and unwilling posture of traffic and security personnel to manage the traffic.
“The daily commute along Apapa-Oshodi Expressway and environs is now hell on earth. A journey that should normally take 10 minutes, has now worsened with commuters spending several hours on the road due to gridlock.”
Another motorist, a truck driver, Idris Abdullai, lamented thus, “We are tired of traffic congestion on this road (Pointing to a particular spot on the road). Both Federal and state government have neglected this area despite series of promises and short-lived interventions.
“All movements from Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, Orile-Mile 2, Lagos-Badagry Expressway Badagry, are congested and on the bad state. Sanwo-Olu should come to our aid.’
Meanwhile, indications emerged that the Federal Government has awarded the contract for the construction of section 2 of the Apapa – Oshodi expressway stretching from Sunrise to Cele bus stop, even as an expert called for immediate rehabilitation of the section of the road before the rains begin. Recall that the section of the road has been abandoned in the last couple of years because the federal government was yet to award it to any company for reconstruction.
Speaking with Vanguard on the situation of the section of the road, Team Lead, Bulk Truck Operations of Honeywell Flour Mills Plc, Isreal Ogundiran, said with the first section from Liverpool to Sunrise almost completed, the award of the second section is a welcome development.
Ogundiran however warned that unless immediate palliative work is done on that section of the road, it will become unmotorable when the rainy seasons starts fully.
According to Ogundiran, “The port access road contract is in two-phase, one is from Apapa to Sunrise which is completed while the other is from Sunrise to Cele express. So that it will become complete from Sunrise down to Gbegada. The first has been completed and the second phase has just been awarded.
“If that portion is not constructed now, especially that small option between Sunrise and Barger, you will see the effect. You will containers falling anyhow during the rainy season. In the dry season, you and I can see the potholes on the road but in the rainy season we cannot see the potholes, what you will see is the flood.
“That is why we are asking the government to fix that portion of the road so that it will ease the transport from Apapa down to Tin-can and straight down to Mile2. We are also asking for palliatives on that portion of the road for vehicles exiting from the port so that the contractor will not be disturbed and evacuated,” he stated.