Friday, September 22, 2017

Apapa gridlock: LASG orders trailers, tankers to stay away from Lagos

The Lagos State Government on Friday ordered trailers, trucks and oil tankers to stay away from Lagos for now as a result of massive traffic gridlock on Ikorodu Road leading to Apapa due to breakdown of operations at the port.

Over 2,000 trailers, trucks and oil tankers have onerously shutdown Ikorodu Road all through to Apapa as they struggled to get into the Port and tank farms to convey commodities to their various destinations.

Lagosians and motorists have been groaning as they spend hours on daily basis trying to get to their destinations.

At an urgent joint news conference on Friday addressed by the Ministries of Information and Strategy and Transport, Acting Commissioner for Transportation, Prince Anofiu Elegushi said the gridlock being experienced was occasioned by breakdown of activities and operations at the port.

Elegushi lamented that the situation had become so terrible that the government must take drastic steps to remedy the situation, saying that the gridlock had reached Ojuelegba from Apapa.

According to him, the port operators must solve the problem immediately so that Lagosians and motorists would enjoy some respite.

“We appeal to owners of articulated trailers and tankers to stay away from Lagos for now until we resolve the problem,” he said.

Elegushi added that officers of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA and the Rapid Response Squad, RRS had been mobilized to prevent trailers, trucks and oil tankers from gaining access to Lagos for now, adding that the trailers could stay at Ogere and other areas pending the resolution of the gridlock in the state.

He appealed to motorists to seek alternative routes for now until the problems were resolved.

Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Steve Ayorinde emphasized that the breakdown of operation at the port was responsible for the massive gridlock in the state.

“The breakdown of operation at the port in Lagos is the cause of the gridlock. Over 2,000 trucks are struggling to gain access into the port. As responsive government, we can’t allow these pains to continue. We are taking steps to mitigate the problem to ensure that Lagosians are not subjected to these avoidable pains,” he said.

General Manager, Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, LASEMA, Adesina Tiamiyu said the situation in Apapa had been very tough, saying that an explosion in the area might be grave as there is no access to the area.

He said the agency had sent drones to monitor the situation in Apapa for proper government intervention, while urging Lagosians to report any untoward situation to the agency through the dedicated 767 emergency line.

“Government is on top of the situation. We will enforce the law to ensure that Lagos is not shutdown,” he said, adding that “this is a challenging time, we have declared emergency around that area.”

President, Association of Maritime Truck Owners, AMARTO, Remi Ogugbemi, said the situation in Apapa represented a time bomb that could explode anytime, saying that no amount of money was too much to ensure safety of lives and properties.

“The situation is a time bomb that can explode. FG should collaborate with the state so that the problem will be over; we don’t want to wait until it happens before they start sending relief materials. We are ready to give necessary support until sanity returns to Apapa,” he said.

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