The Lagos State Government has moved to take over from the Presidential Taskforce on Port Decongestion and create a new operational template for the taskforce.
This is seen as part of the steps being taken by the state government to restore sanity to the Apapa axis that has been bedeviled by serious traffic congestion, which has impacted negatively on businesses and lives in that environment.
The disclosure was made by the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, during an unplanned fact-finding visit to Apapa, on Monday, to ascertain the causes of incessant gridlocks on roads leading to the seaports, which revealed several factors responsible for the congestion.
The governor said that the new operational template for the presidential task force would be enforced by a combined team of officers of Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) and the police.
During the visit with members of the state cabinet, the Governor physically assessed the complexity of the situation that allowed heavy-duty trucks to clog up the access roads, as a blame game ensued between stakeholders operating within and around the Apapa seaports.
While the Committee of Freight Forwarders and Maritime Truckers (COFFAMAT) blamed the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) officials, Presidential Taskforce on Port Decongestion and the police for the corruption that allowed truck drivers to park indiscriminately on the road, the Council of Maritime Transport Union and Association (COMTUA) absolved the police and Taskforce, accusing COFFAMAT, truck drivers and other stakeholders of not playing by the rules.
A customs licensed clearing and forwarding agent, Mr. Boniface Okoye, heaped the blame on the customs for giving undue access to the shippers’ council to leave empty containers in the port areas, while pointing an accusing finger at the police for looking away after allegedly collecting kickbacks.
Following the accusations and counter-accusations by the stakeholders, Sanwo-Olu revealed the plans of the State Government to checkmate activities of all operators that had led to the problems being experienced in the area.
The Governor wondered why container-laden trucks not yet called upon for loading in the ports were indiscriminately parked on the newly rehabilitated Tincan Road, instead of moving into the approved terminal provided by the Government.
What the Lagos State Governor is saying
Sanwo-Olu disclosed the plans of the state government to restore sanity to the roads on that axis.
The Governor said, “This is about the fourth time which my Government has been trying to address Apapa gridlock and bring sanity back to the area. On each occasion we had come here, we knew that there were road constructions. This time around, there has been a lot of improvement and we have seen that a lot of the roads within Apapa have been completed. But, there has been no respite for commuters in terms of free traffic flow.
“Our plan is to bring about cohesive system where all stakeholders would understand their roles and resolve challenges being encountered. Since last year, the Presidential Taskforce has been working on this issue. Now, there is a process that is starting in which the State Government is taking over the task force. This is one of the reasons for this trip to Apapa today; to ascertain what needs to be done. We will have a team of policemen and LASTMA dedicated to Apapa Ports for enforcement of task force’s mandates.”
The Governor said the visit to the ports would be followed up with stakeholders’ engagement with NPA, shipping companies’ owners and freight forwarders, stressing that a situation where truck drivers needed to wait for about 10 hours for handing over of operation from one NPA team to another was not acceptable.
Sanwo-Olu pointed out that the sharp practices and inadequacies observed in the handling of the container operations at the ports would be escalated to the Minister of Transport, adding that the misconducts of the policemen stationed close to the ports would be reported to the Inspector General of Police (IGP).
He said: “Lagos State Government is not the owner of the ports whose operations is causing pain to residents, but we owe a duty to our citizens whose lives and businesses have been badly impacted because of the gridlocks created in this part of the State. I believe this trip would give us another opportunity where all of us, as stakeholders, will be able to identify impediments and resolve the issues once and for all.”
What you should know
- It can be recalled that President Muhammadu Buhari inaugurated a Presidential Taskforce headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo and Comrade Kayode Opeifa as Vice Chairman to restore sanity on the Apapa axis, following the total collapse of law and order which led to indiscriminate parking of heavy articulated vehicles like trucks, tankers, and containerized heavy-duty vehicles on roads leading to Apapa and its environs.
- However, following the restoration of some level of normalcy on the axis with the disappearance of trucks and tankers on the bridges and roads, the Federal Government announced the withdrawal of the Presidential Taskforce.
APAPA GRIDLOCK: LAGOS MOVES TO TAKE OVER PRESIDENTIAL TASKFORCE OPERATION, AS SANWO-OLU VISITS AREA AGAIN
— The Lagos State Govt (@followlasg) December 28, 2020
Lagos State Government to transform Badagry into industrial and tourism hub
Lagos State Government has assured Badagry residents of plans to transform the area into an industrial and tourism hub.
The Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, has announced that the state will transform the Badagry area of the state into a tourism and industrial hub.
This was disclosed on Monday during the inauguration of the reconstructed 5.5 kilometres Hospital Road in Bagadry. The Governor was represented by his spokesman, Mr Adesina Odunuga, from the State Ministry of works.
Sanwo-Olu said the transformation would be part of the State’s “administration’s infrastructure drive.”
“Our plan is to harness Badagry’s tourism and growth potentials through the provision of this 5.5km-long road.
“We have planned the execution and the completion of this road in two phases.
“Once the road is completed, there will be corresponding economic benefits in form of new clusters of industries, commercial growth and general ease of transporting goods,’’ he said.
The Governor added that the road would be reconstructed as a dual carriage-way to connect Idale, Povita, Topo and Ajido communities to Lagos-Badagry Expressway via Joseph Dosu Road.
“The road strategically services the Badagry Marina where several tourism centres such as Agiya Tree Monument, First Storey Building and Early Missionary Cemetery in Nigeria including Slave Trade Relics /Point of No Return, Heritage Museum, Eko Theatre, Badagry VIP Chalets and a host of others are located,” he added.
What you should know
- Nairametrics reported earlier this month that Lagos State had announced that it would increase infrastructure spending in 2021 to 60% of its budget, in a bid to repair damages inflicted by hoodlums in October 2020, following the #EndSARS protests.
- The Lagos State Government also assured its residents that it would improve social services and expand public infrastructure to enhance productivity and economic growth.
AfDB to commit $12.5 billion to climate finance
The AfDB has announced that it will fund climate finance in Africa with an additional sum of $12.5 billion.
The African Development Bank has announced that it will fund climate finance in Africa with an additional sum of $12.5 billion.
This was disclosed by the President of the AfDB, Dr Akinwumi Adesina, at the online International Climate Adaptation Summit (CAS) 2021 on Monday. The summit aims to define the path for a decade of climate investment and transformation in the 2030s.
Adesina added that the bank would increase its climate financing by 400%, rising from 38% of its total financing in 2019, stating that Africa needed collective actions to take the climate fight seriously and adapt to ecological changes.
“We expect to reach 40 per cent in climate finance this year.
“To do more for Africa, we are building strategic partnerships,” he said.
“The AfDB and the GCA-Africa have launched the ‘Africa Adaptation Acceleration Program’ to mobilise 25 billion dollars in new climate finance for Africa—and to scale up innovative and transformative actions on climate adaptation across Africa,” he added.
Adesina also disclosed that The Bank launched the Desert-to-Power initiative — a $20 billion initiative — to build the world’s largest solar zone in the Sahel, also citing the Digital Agriculture Flagship will leverage $2 billion to deliver digital climate advisory services to reach 300 million farmers by 2030.
What you should know
- Recall Nairametrics reported that African Development Bank (AfDB) said it was committed to mobilizing the sum of $25 billion in climate finance in Africa by 2025, as well as a number of other initiatives by the bank that would address climate adaptation.
- Dr Akinwumi Adesina also revealed plans to support the Great Green Wall initiative with $6.5 billion over the next five years.
Lagos reviews building permit approvals and processing time
The Lagos State Government has promised to review planning permit processing time and reduce the lay-out approval process.
The Lagos State Government has promised to review planning permit processing time from 28 to 18 days and reduce the lay-out approval process from 90 to 30 days.
This is part of measures employed by the state to re-engineer their operating procedures to meet the 21st-century demands of the Lagos Megacity.
According to a statement from the Assistant Director of the Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development, Mukaila Sanusi, this was contained in a communiqué adopted from resolutions of an annual retreat of the ministry and its agencies.
What the Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Urban Development is saying
Sanusi in a statement, said, “Highlights of the forward-looking resolutions include the reduction of Planning Permit processing time from 28 to 18 days, reduction of lay-out approval process from 90 to 30 days and the adoption of one stage approval for layout instead of the existing two stages.’’
He pointed out that the staff agreed that the ministry and its agencies should step up their efforts toward realizing their mandates, especially in relation to the 21st century Lagos Economic goal.
He said, “They resolved to enhance synergy between and among the agencies, particularly the Lagos State Physical Planning Permit Authority (LASPPPA) and the Lagos State Building Control Agency (LASBCA).’’
According to the statement, the Commissioner for Physical Planning and Urban Development, Dr Idris Salako, was quoted as saying the resolutions were capable of delivering many advantages.
Some of the benefits of the re-engineered process
Salako listed the benefits to include;
- Improved revenue,
- Enhanced service delivery,
- Reduction of bottlenecks in Planning Permit and Layout approvals,
- Drastic reduction in illegal building construction,
- Seamless attainment of an orderly and sustainable environment.
He urged the workforce to fulfil the content of the communiqué with a renewed commitment to providing needed solutions to the challenges in the system.
What this means
The implementation of the resolutions reached at the annual retreat of the ministry and its agencies will ensure that developers apply and process building permits easier, faster and less cumbersome.
It will also eliminate the delays and bottlenecks experienced at state government agencies and reduce the spate of illegal and unapproved buildings.