Institute tasks FG on Apapa traffic gridlock

Traffic snarl on Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, recently

Traffic snarl on Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, recently

THE perennial traffic gridlock is a major threat to the economic growth of Lagos Seaports, the Nigerian Institute of Shipping (NIS) has said.

President of the Institute, Patrick Egesi, who spoke at the weekend in Lagos, predicted that except something urgent was done by the Federal Government, the Seaports in the near future might loose their viable status to ports of neighbouring countries.
According to Egesi, some landlocked countries may settle for more accessible ports like Tema port of Ghana and Cotonou port in Benin Republic.

The former Director General, Nigerian Maritime Authority (NMA) who spoke at the 7th yearly general meeting, Induction and Award Night put together by the NIS in Lagos reiterated that the traffic gridlock along the ports’ access roads poses serious danger to the economy.

He also called on the Federal Government to concentrate, develop and dredge the Calabar port in Cross Rivers State, for it to be viable.
Egesi said development of the port in Calabar will further ease traffic in Lagos ports, adding that traffic gridlock has made land-locked nations to prefer to do business with the Ghana port instead of Lagos ports.
The NIS President pointed out that if the Calabar port were fully operational, it would boost the nation’s economy because according to him, there will be massive job opportunities and it will reduce traffic on the Lagos ports.

He said: “Our knowledge during Tema port visit came handy during our participation at the international conference on facilitation of transit trade for greater economic integration of land locked countries, organised by the Federal Ministry of transport in conjunction with its parastatals and the government of Niger Republic where it was clearly revealed that Niger and most other landlocked neighbouring West African countries prefer the use of Tema to Nigerian ports.”

Explaining further, Egesi said: “Government consider Calabar port in particular because when that port is opened, you will be surprised about the benefit that port will bring to the nation
“Apart from the fact that it will create jobs for a lot of people, it is going to help the country internally to reduce congestion on Lagos ports roads”
“This traffic congestion caused us billions of dollars and we are not bothered because of the oil, maybe without oil we maybe a little bit careful to open up our ports”

He further noted that apart from Niger and other land locked countries in the region; most West African countries prefer other smaller port to Nigeria simply because of the menace of traffic.
“They prefer such ports because of the congestion in our ports and that is the reason for the government to ensure that the Calabar port needs to bounce back”, the former NMA boss added.

Worried by the recurring and perennial traffic gridlock, the Senate, recently urged the Federal Government to, as a matter of urgency, commence the reactivation of rail lines at Apapa ports for evacuation of petroleum products.

It also advised the Lagos State government to collaborate with Federal Government agencies to end the present gridlock.
According to the Senate, there is need for the Federal Government to consider long-term plans and expansion of the Apapa-Ijora-Iganmu-Orile-Mile 2 access trunks as well as the Apapa Tin Can-Mile 2 -Oshodi corridor, pointing out that government should address the problem in the interest of the country and the larger economy.

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  • emmanuel kalu

    it is a good suggestion to open up other ports to reduce the congestion in Lagos. however it is becoming tiresome that everyone continue to depend on the federal govt to do things. even the state government are waiting for federal government to do something. The congestion in Lagos port can be easily solved, Nigeria is not dealing with new frontiers that haven’t being solved. Simple problem that become huge issues, shows that we don’t have leaders, we have criminals and useless people leading the nation. why can’t this stakeholder organize themselves and solve the problem in Lagos port, which is mainly caused by the tankers blocking access to the port. Calabar port and other ports can compete with Lagos port for business. why does the governor have to wait for the federal government to dredge the port, isn’t that something that governor should invest state money to do, knowing that it would bring jobs and help grow the economy. This is what loans, bonding and borrowing should be used for, not used to pay salaries and purchase cars for elected fools. if we had effective rail system and barging system. most goods would cleared, loaded on trains or barges and moved inland, instead of using trailer that are becoming a danger to society. Nigeria problem is not lack of knowledge or resources, it is lack of capable leaders that are not criminals.

  • Osayande Obasuyi

    The solution to this problem is simply to revert to the policy of using railways to evacuate goods at the Lagos seaport, airport, including the oil refineries and large industrial lay-outs in the growing cities of the country. The use of secondhand motor spare-parts being the order of the day, the observed rate of vehicle breakdown and resultant dilapidation of our roads is just too high. These days, mechanics carry out repairs of heavy duty delivery trucks in the process of conveying (up to 3-4 meters high) load in the middle of the road without having recourse to seek assistance from the appropriate authority to remove the vehicle to safer grounds. A significant reduction in the number of heavy duty vehicles on the road as much as possible, will eliminate this problem and its effects on the durability of our motor roads and highways as well as improved safety for other commuters.

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