The Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has assured that the gridlock typically experienced around the Apapa corridor will end in October 2020, following the completion and opening for public use of all the road networks leading in and out of the port area.
The Governor disclosed that there is a massive and extensive road construction works that are going on in Apapa at the moment. This disclosure was made by the governor on Sunday, August 9, during a 5-hour tour of the projects/infrastructure works that are being developed on the Apapa axis.
While pointing out that they are using concrete for the roads that are being reconstructed, he announced that Liverpool and Creek roads in Apapa have already been completed. The Governor in his statement said:
“We need to set out our activities in a methodical order and see how we redevelop Apapa. There is a massive road construction that is going on in Apapa and the work is extensive. We are using concrete for roads that are being rebuilt. Liverpool and Creek roads have already been completed. By October, all the road network leading in and out of the port area would been opened up for public use.’’
Sanwo-Olu also pointed out that the disturbing gridlock created along Apapa corridor in Lagos State by heavy-duty trucks clogging the major highways may soon fade away, if the actions the government is taken materializes.
On the blame game going on among terminal operators, Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) and Maritime Transport Unions and Associations (COMTUA), the governor expressed his disapproval of the truck drivers’ action and the failure of the NPA to enforce extant regulations preventing trucks not yet approved for loading to park indiscriminately on the highways.
He stressed on the need to overhaul the terminal system at the ports, noting that there was no reason for the trucks to park on the highways if their dedicated terminals were operational.
Going further, he disclosed that the State Government had made a request to the Federal Government to prevail on the concessionaire that will be operating the 700-truck capacity Lilypond Terminal at Apapa to open the facility for use without further delay.
As part of the solution to the parking problem by container laden trucks, the governor revealed that the state government had donated additional 30 hectares of land in Ijora area, noting that the land would increase the holding capacity of the Lilypond terminal.
Sanwo-Olu said, ‘’Today, I have taken time to personally inspect some projects being developed both by the Federal and State governments to improve traffic around Constain, Iganmu, Apapa and Mile 2 areas. The projects are initiated specifically to address the chaos created mainly by indiscriminate parking of trailers along the routes. Already, there is an ongoing rehabilitation work on Marine Bridge, where a stretch has completely been scarified.
“There is also a Lilypond Terminal, a major holding bay for heavy-duty trucks, which has not been operated after it was transferred to a concessionaire. We are aware that the concessionaire is meant to complete an agreement with NPA on the transfer of the facility. But, while this is being done, the Lagos Government has donated 30 hectares of land in Ijora to raise the capacity of the Lilypond Terminal.’’
He said that while these steps will be part of the solution of taking the trucks off the Apapa highways, the rehabilitation work on Marine Beach Bridge when completed within the next 4 months, there will be an improvement in journey time towards Apapa.
The governor lamented that the gridlock created by the indiscriminate parking of trailers had impacted negatively on businesses on the axis and endangered the lives of people living on the corridor.
He observed that the volume of maritime business being carried out in Apapa and Tin Can Island ports had outgrown their capacities. He said the State Government had started building another port in Lekki in collaboration with the NPA to serve as alternative and ease the pressure on the two ports in Apapa.