Ambode bemoans state of Oshodi-Apapa highway
GOVERNOR Akinwunmi Ambode of Lagos State yesterday had a first-hand feel of the perennial pains of Lagos residents and road users plying the Apapa corridor of the state during the continuation of his tour to major traffic points in the state.
The governor, who went through difficult situation to access the area, had to make U-turn mid-way into the Apongbon inwards Iganmu Bridge where fuel tankers had already formed multiple lanes queue to completely cordon off the bridge.
Arriving at the Creek end of the port, the governor, who received briefs from officials and residents, learnt that there were no fewer than 6,000 tankers visiting the port’s 57 tank farms on daily basis, with no where to park except the main roads and bridges.
Ambode and his team walked through the potholes of Creek and Liverpool roads to see an abandoned trailer park opposite Tincan Port that can take over 500 tankers.
Addressing reporters at the trailer park, the governor said the state government had identified the problems in Apapa as multifaceted and in need of a multi-pronged approach to tackle the problems both in the short and long-terms.
His words: “We’ve all seen that the gridlock in Apapa is multifaceted. We have examined things that relate to activities of trailer drivers and tanker drivers. It is totally unacceptable that we would be having tankers and trailers on our bridges.
“It is also not acceptable that they would decide to block all lanes that lead to Apapa. We’ve also seen that we must do something immediately to alleviate the challenges that the residents and businessmen are facing.
“But again, you’ll also realise that the roads that lead to Apapa Wharf and Tincan Island actually belong to the Federal Government. We’ve come to this Bridge (Tincan), it has been under construction in the last six years, we’ve also seen a trailer park that can actually contain about 500 trailers at a time that had been abandoned by the Federal Government.
“What we want to do now is first to appeal to the Federal Government and most especially the President that the contractor constructing this particular bridge should come back to site and once we are able to open the trailer park, we would be able to allow other trailers and tankers use the park.”
The governor added that the tank farm owners would also come into the picture on the long run, adding that the greater part of the challenge was on account of their concentration in Apapa.
“As we speak, we have 57 tank farms around Apapa alone, that’s a major security challenge for the state government. We have to start to look at the security issues relating to these tank farms. All trailers across the country come to these tank farms and the tank farm owners, we are going to direct them in the next few days, they would be summoned to a meeting and they have to tell us what is their remedy to this menace that we are having in Apapa.
“But right now, the immediate palliative is that we would set up a task force that would involve most of our security agencies, including the police and we would do a twenty-fours monitoring of the traffic. We would pay more attention to enforcement.
“From this evening, you would see that there would be more attention on enforcement and we would also fund that enforcement. We are going to give incentives to our law enforcement officers to ensure that the traffic law is obeyed.
“In relation to the road, the parts of which we can do, the pot- holes, we would do them quickly, but we also implore the Federal Government to ensure that the contractor that was awarded the Apapa road network should return to site immediately. These are the issues that we are going to address,” he said.
Besides, residents, who spoke with The Guardian, confirmed that armed robbers are now exploiting the parked tankers to rob pedestrians of their belongings once it is dark.
The state Commissioner of Police, Kayode Aderanti, who was in the team of the governor, said the concern of the police was the nexus between our infrastructural development and the rate of crime in this area.
Aderanti said what they had observed in the last one year was that most of the trailers always collapse and “when this happens, you see a lot of hoodlums coming around to steal most of the items that is meant to be shipped to different parts of the country.”
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