In its determination to ensure free flow of traffic and safety on the roads, the Lagos State Government on Wednesday commenced the process of clearing Apapa-Mile 2 axis of illegal parking of tankers and articulated vehicles.
The action, the Government said, is aimed at freeing Apapa – Oshodi Expressway of traffic gridlock and to make it accessible to other road users.
Speaking in Lagos after a visit to the area, the General Manager of Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Mr. Olawale Musa said despite series of meetings the Agency held with the stakeholders on the imperative of freeing Apapa of all traffic impediments, vehicles were still parked on the roads.
Musa said that the government would not fold its arms and allow lawlessness and impunity to reign, emphasizing that the current administration in the State is alive to its responsibilities and will not shy away from attending to the plight of the people.
According to him, the State Government set up a Special Task Force comprising Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), Nigerian Navy, Police, Civil Defence and Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) under the Chairmanship of the State Commissioner of Police, Edgar Imohimi to rid Apapa of illegal parking activities and curb the menace of articulated vehicles.
He noted that a stakeholders meeting held on Friday 17th November 2017 at the NPA headquarters Marina, identified articulated vehicles returning empty containers to the Port as the major cause of Apapa traffic gridlock because many of them had to wait up to 10 days to discharge empty containers.
“The stakeholders have therefore resorted that henceforth, these vehicles are to use the following holding bays and terminals which are: Comet Terminal, Joatelim, Ballore Transport and Logistics, HBX Terminal, Unity Bonded Terminal, Falcon Terminal, Port and Marine services and Duncan Terminal for their activities,” Musa said.
He added that stakeholders also agreed that all trucks currently loading at the port will be issued a docket indicating where they should return their empty containers instead of waiting ceaselessly on the roads to return them.
Musa assured the residents of Apapa and Lagos State in general that the current efforts to restore sanity and orderliness to Apapa would be a continuous one, warning that anyone who defies government directive not to impede the free flow of traffic will be dealt with according to the law.
He enjoined all stakeholders, especially the Shipping Council and Shipping Lines to sensitize and educate their members on the new directive, while also urging members of the public to take advantage of the already cleared roads and inform the Agency of any broken down or abandoned tankers and trucks on Apapa – Oshodi Expressway.
It would be recalled that owners and drivers of articulated vehicles illegally parked along the roads in Apapa and environs have been given till Friday, November 24 to remove them to avoid sanctions as prescribed by the law.