Apapa gridlock: Truckers agree to voluntary compliance of presidential order - FAITH ADAMA'S BLOG

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Friday, 24 May 2019

Apapa gridlock: Truckers agree to voluntary compliance of presidential order


Apapa



All truck operators at a stakeholders’ forum on Friday unanimously agreed that any truck or petroleum tanker found on Lagos roads, bridges and Apapa ports and access roads by 12 noon on Saturday will face the music.
The Presidency had insisted that any such vehicles found on the Apapa ports or the access roads or bridges after the deadline would be towed off and forfeited to the Federal Government.
The stakeholders meeting at the NPA multipurpose hall in Apapa, was chaired by the Committee chairman and Vice President Prof Yemi Osinbajo who sued for voluntary compliance to the presidential order.
Already men of the Nigeria Police and the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, have opened all the access roads at Apapa and have started moving the trucks away from the roads.
According to the presidency, nothing would be spared to strictly enforce the presidential order.
Osinbajo, who was represented by the Vice Chairman of the committee and the Transportation Secretary at the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), Abuja, Comrade Kayode Opeifa, said all the stakeholders had been meeting since the order on Wednesday.
He added that 24 hours is sufficient for all truck operators to get their vehicles off the road.
And he got the commitment of all stakeholders, including all terminal operators at the two ports, truckers unions, manufacturing concerns/whose firms are within the ports, the shippers council, ship owners, and others, to cooperate with security operatives to move all trucks away before the deadline.
Opeifa said: “The presidential order was consistent with the government’s commitment to the ease of doing business, said no efforts would be spared in ensuring that Lagos roads are free and gridlocks become a thing of the past in Apapa and its access roads.
‘’Already men of the Nigeria Police and the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA, have opened all the access at Apapa and have started moving the trucks away from the roads.
“With the order, all roads leading to the ports are to be free for all trucks to move in and out of Apapa, while other trucks would be enjoined to park at the various private parks already identified by the NPA, where they should stay, until they are called up into the ports area.”
He said despite the apparent lack of capacity by terminal operators, infrastructure gaps such lack of good roads, and low human capacity, the committee is determined to ensure free flow of traffic in Apapa.
He disclosed 54 private parks belonging to various operators and stakeholders have been identified where the trucks should be moved into, adding that any operator with accessible parks should enlist same with the NPA latest Friday.
Opeifa said a short, medium to long term plan has been drawn up by the committee to tackle headlong Apapa gridlock.
He said apart from sided trucks, reevers, Silos, Area, Fishbed, Dangote, BUA, flatbed all other trucks entering the Apapa Port through Orile are to make use of the Lillypond Truck park while any truck entering Apapa from the Apapa-Oshodi expressway would be allowed free access into the Roll on Roll Off (RORO) and Tin Can Port.
According to Opeifa, “All trucks are to make use of their private parks, from where they would be called to proceed into the port, with Lillypond park, serving as a marshalling yard for truck waiting to enter the port.”
Also as part of the short term measures, Opeifa said, Hakeem Odumosu, a Commissioner of Police, have been appointed to lead the enforcement team.
Odumosu, who once head the Rapid Response Squad, would be leading the Police as well as LASTMA in cleaning up Apapa.
Odumosu, while addressing the stakeholders, said truck owners have between Friday till noon of Saturday to voluntarily comply with the order, adding that once the deadline is over, it would be “operation No Mercy,” on Apapa and all access roads.
He said besides the roads, any truck parked under the bridges, or any open spaces in and around Apapa would be towed and my not be released until Mr President gave the directive.
Odumosu, who said he has been part of operation clean up Apapa since 2010, assured Nigerians living in Apapa this time it would be operation clean the streets of all trucks.
The Chairman Apapa Residents Association Brig-Gen Ayo-Vaughan (Rtd) expressed appreciation to the government.  (The Nation)
“We believe this government is serious and we as residents have no doubt that very soon Apapa would soon be restored to its pride of place,” he said.

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