By Ricahrds Adeniyi
The Vice President Yemi Osinbajo’s directive that gave a ’72-hour joint operation to restore order in Apapa and its environs failed as the gridlock lock remain and movement into all the roads leading to Lagos ports remain absolutely impossible almost 96 hours after the directive.
It would be recalled that Vice-President Osinbajo had made an unscheduled stop at Apapa port at the weekend for an on-the-spot assessment of the traffic gridlock, during which he personally directed a combination of all the various traffic officers to restore sanity on Apapa Oshodi-Expressway.
Specifically, he urged Ministries, Department and Agencies (MDs) to speed up the decongestion of Apapa port.
The operation should be carried out by the Nigeria Police, Nigerian Navy, Nigerian Army, The Nigeria Air Force, Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC) Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, (LASTMA), Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), Container Truck drivers, National Association of Road Transport Owners (NURTW), National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG), Road Transport Employers Associations of Nigeria (RTEAN) and the Civil Defence Corps.
The Vice President flew into the Tin Can Port by a Nigeria Navy chopper and accompanied by the Transport Minister, Rotimi Amaechi and some senior Naval and police officers.
Determined to have a first- information after the Apapa gridlock and observe the situation of things, proceeded to the First Star Berth of the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, where he met with relevant officials and security officers.
He finally directed that the various security personnel to within 72 hours, take all the necessary and appropriate steps to restore order on the traffic situation and speed up work on the port decongestion.
However, 96 hours after the Vice-President’s visit, entry into the port environment became more difficult as all the various traffic officers are yet to effectively coordinate their activities and bring about a coordinated and efficient modalities into the smooth decongestion of the gridlock which still remain unresolved.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has called on terminal operators to embrace automation for cargo clearance.
Executive Secretary of the Council, Mr. Hassan Bello made the call recently when he led the agency’s management team on a visit to SIFAX Port and Cargo Handling Services, Five Star Logistics Limited and APM Terminals in Lagos.
According to him, adoption of automation will improve cargo clearance, minimize the current traffic gridlock being experienced in Apapa and reduce human traffic at the terminals.
As a result of these gridlocks and the present ineffectiveness of the present operation, the Lagos State Government has further extended the exercise of these gridlocks for 30days