Gridlock At Apapa Axis Affecting Hospitality Business, Says Stakeholder

An hotelier, Mr Ini Akpabio, says that the perennial gridlock in Apapa area of Lagos State has been affecting the hospitality business in the state.Akpabio told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Lagos that because of the heavy traffic, hotels located in Apapa and its environ had begun to record poor patronages in recent months.“This is not encouraging; it is really affecting and frustrating our business.“Our guests complain about the gridlock in the area,’’ he said.He attributed the heavy traffic to bad roads and heavy trucks plying the area.“Most hoteliers in that area are out of business due to low patronage.“My hotel, NANET Hotel, has been recording poor patronage in the last six months.“The sales in the first quarter of this year was not encouraging and below expectations.“I thought things will soon get better but as days run by we keep recording low sales, ” he said.Akpabio said that frequent breakdown of trucks on the major roads leading to the hotels in that area was discouraging their clients from patronising them again.He said that the record of guests in the first quarter of last year was more encouraging when compared with that of this year.He said that since Apapa axis is an industrial area, the Lagos State Government should give it a special attention by maintaining its road networks regularly.This would ease traffic congestion there but attract more people to the area to transact their businesses under conducive atmospheres, Akpabio said.“Most of our guests come from outside Apapa but the heavy traffic is now discouraging them.“We are not making  reasonable profits as we used to before now due to the road and other infrastructural challenges” he said.Akpabio urged the state government to renovate the bad roads in the locality to safe the hospitality business from collapse.NAN reports that the Lagos Chamber of Commerce and Industry (LCII) had also said the Apapa-Oshodi expressway and other access roads to the ports in Lagos were destroying businesses and the economy of the country.The President of LCCI, Alhaji Remi Bello, speaking at its 2014 quarterly news conference on the economy in Lagos, lamented the total collapse of transportation logistics and access to the major ports in the country – Apapa and Tin Can Island Port complexes.He said, “To fix these, there is an urgent need to relocate the tank farms to the outskirts of the city. Current location of the tank farms is a major factor in the huge traffic congestion. They also constitute a serious safety hazards to citizens.’’Also, the Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Ms Hadiza Usman, said the traffic gridlock in Apapa had affected access into the ports and killing trade facilitation programme of government.Usman said,  “NPA is not happy that all modalities and measures adopted so far have not translated into quick cargo movement in and out of the ports.”She told the stakeholders that a positive action would be taken by the NPA in the interest of all and the economy.