Apapa gridlock: Downpour delays full evacuation of trucks, tankers

* as Task Force identifies 33 parks

The Presidential Task Team on Restoration of Law and Order in Apapa Port area has recorded significant breakthrough in restoring normalcy in Nigeria’s premier port, the Executive Vice Chairman of the task force, Kayode Opeifa, has said.

He spoke on Tuesday during a tour of the cleared area as the Task Force has succeeded in removing trucks away from major roads linking Apapa.

Daily Trust reports that the operation of the task force has been stalled by heavy downpour in Lagos on Monday and Tuesday.

Our correspondent observed that the team had set out to continue its operations when heavy rainfall started just like it happened on Monday, 48 hours after the Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, visited.

But Opeifa disclosed that since the Vice President alongside Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu carried out the inspection on Saturday, the Task Force has driven the trucks away from Apapa by additional 500 meters.

“We need only 500 meters to get to Mile 2,” he said, adding, “By the time we hit Mile 2, our terms of reference would have been fully accomplished.”

Daily Trust reports that trucks have been evacuated from Flour Mills in Apapa up to the entire stretch of Ijora Bridge to Costain, Marina and Ikorodu; areas which were hitherto littered by trucks and trailers.

He said the task force has identified 33 parks within Apapa which can accommodate 3,000 trucks.

According to him, it is from these parks that trucks and tankers would be moved to the loading point.

He said the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) would come up with a call-up system for trucks and tankers coming to Apapa for loading and offloading of containers.

“We have restored law and order especially at Tin Can and Coconut and we have removed extortion. We were heavily resisted by youths who came out with weapons”, he said.

Opeifa also commended the security agencies in Apapa, most importantly, the Nigerian Navy Western Command for its cooperation.

He however advised the leaderships of the security agencies to call some of their men to order for allegedly extorting the drivers.

Opeifa, a former Commissioner for Transportation in Lagos, blamed the traffic situation in Apapa on the withdrawal of the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA) officials after the killing of a senior officer.

He however said LASTMA has been remobilized to the area as well as officers of the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), adding, “There is a dedicated police team protecting them”.

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