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Why Apapa gridlock persists, by Sanwo-Olu

By Oyebola Owolabi

Lagos Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu has blamed the continuous gridlock in Apapa and environs on corruption and human factors.

He called for the sack of some officials by relevant authorities so that sanity and discipline can return to the area.

Sanwo-Olu spoke on Arise Television while answering questions on the second anniversary of his administration.

He said: “The electronic-call up system introduced to restore sanity in Apapa is not working due to some factors, chief among which is corruption and some inconsistencies in the plan.

“The system does not allow containers to park in Apap but in areas close to by, and only come into the port when they are called. But there are operational issues as to why the system is not working fine.

“Sometimes a container that is called up might be for offloading while the need inside the port is for loading and so this creates a problem because the container cannot go back. The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and its stakeholders will have to fix this.

“Trailers/tanker drivers are also not captured in the e-call up system and they make up 65-70 per cent of traffic in and around Apapa ports.

“They would also always threaten strike the moment you tell them to obey simple rules and nobody wants to hear of their strike.

“But we will have the conversation because you cannot be law to yourselves. You must have enough room to park your trailers/tankers inside your facility and if you don’t have, you cannot bring them into Apapa.

READ ALSO: Sanwo-Olu vows to expose cabal behind Apapa gridlock

“There is also the issue of officials removing barricades overnight and allowing containers queue on the roads so that when you get to the port about 7am, there are containers already blocking the road. We will ask the Inspector General of Police (IG) to change all policemen in the area and make them examples. Heads must roll over this persistent gridlock in Apapa if we must-have solutions.

“The Apapa port itself is overstretched. We need to have others, and that is why we are planning alternative ports in Lekki and Badagry.”

Governor Sanwo-Olu also said the ban on okada will be done gradually as the government was providing the First and Last Mile Buses (FLM) as alternatives in areas where okada have been banned.

The Governor, however, disclosed that transport unions had reached out to the government on regularisation of the informal transport sector.

According to him, efforts were underway to leverage biometric data for approval of commercial motorcycle operation in areas where it had not been proscribed.

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