Articulated trucks blocking the ‘Cele Bus Stop’ end of the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, leading all the way to Tin Can Island Port in Lagos last week. Pix by Adewale Buraimoh
Fresh indications have emerged that the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has now been given permission by the federal government to take over construction of the failed portion of the Apapa-Oshodi expressway way, precisely the bad portions between Mile 2 and Tin Can port second gate.
Speaking with Shipping Position Daily in Lagos last week, President of the NPA Senior Staff Association; Comrade Adamu Ya'u gave the indication, describing the bad roads as one of the major challenges being faced by the NPA.
The unionist took a swipe at the Minister for Works Power and Housing, Babatunde Raji Fashola, saying that he has failed the union and the entire maritime sector.
"When we came onboard, we sat down with the Managing Director and we discussed this road, it is important to the port, it is the gateway to our economy, if it is not fixed, the Nigerian economy will drastically go down, notwithstanding the vessel traffic but also the movement of cargoes in and out, if cargoes are not easily moved out, the turn-around time for ships will not be there, the ports performance indicator would not be there", he told our correspondent.
"We wrote to the federal ministry of works, what we didn't do but planned to do is to pay a visit to the minister. Unfortunately, despite being a workaholic person, he has failed us on the issue of the road, he failed us and his state and country in general " , he said.
Speaking further, he said, "Though I was not among the people that went to Abuja, but as of today, I learnt the Managing Director has approved NPA working the road with our consolidated account. The only thing we don't know, but which we intend to find out is the company that will work the road"
"It is a straight road that is less than five to six kilometers, the most important thing is to sanitize the road and ask trucks to vacate the road. It would take the formation of a take force to clear the road"
Ya'u described the Tin Can port road as a national issue, hence ended to be handled with a national fund. He said that without federal government approval, the NPA cannot embark on the project.