What is the way out of environmental pollution in Apapa occasioned by articulated trucks? 

 Kenneth Okoro (NAGAFF member) 

If the Lagos State Government makes the state a mega city, those that have no shelter over their heads, the people that don’t have anywhere to ease themselves will not be there to mess the whole road up. Apapa is in Lagos, yes it is a federal government road but situated here in Lagos, so the state has a duty to make the place good. But nevertheless, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) can make provision for waste disposal here at the ports. Before, we used to have something were all these wastes are thrown in and the NPA at intervals will dispose them.

 Remi Ogungbemi (Chairman, AMARTO) 

I will only summarize by saying that truckers are operating under abnormal situation and in that situation, things that will be happening will not be normal. It is not ideal for one to be on the queue for several days, a human being, and living organism. He has to eat, bath, sleep and do other things, so it is unfortunate that we find ourselves in such an embarrassing and abnormal situation. The way forward is for people in authority to come up with a holistic approach that will give attention to the infrastructure. 

Rev. Jonathan Nicole (SALS)

I think this question should be directed to the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), we realized that in the agreement they signed with concessionaires, they didn’t make arrangement for holding bays. In those days we don’t have this kind of traffic situation where all of a sudden vehicles emerge from nowhere and suddenly they will disappear, it is because they don’t have anywhere to park. And once a policy is faulty, you have to correct that policy. 

Alhaji Adeniyi Johnson (NCMDLCA) 

The government needs to do a lot on the roads, when you are building a road to the port it has to go along with the road amenities such as toilets, parking space among others, they have to be designed. But all these roads we have now don’t have all these facilities. If there is anywhere the drivers need to ease themselves, they get down and go to the nearest public toilet, but it is not like that here. Those amenities were not in their plans when they were constructing roads in Nigeria and that is the problem we are facing now.  

Barr Alban Igwe (Director, Training, Research, CRFFN)

It is only when there is gridlock that somebody can come down and urinate on the road, if you are in motion, this cannot happen, the way out is to make sure that Apapa moves from gridlock to a moving traffic, the whole of Apapa has been turned into a truck park, all the vehicles coming into Apapa are coming to move products, if they can do this and leave, the traffic would disappear. The environmental pollution is there because these drivers have to take their bath and defecate, and there are no mobile toilets around, if you provide one, it means that you have endorsed the gridlock. The solution should be handled systematically, first you have to agree that the gridlock is unacceptable, it is not everyone that is on queue that has something to pick in the next one hour, some are there in anticipation. The government should get an alternative park for the trucks from where they can begin a call up system.

Chris Iyasere (Petroleum Marketer)

I hear people say that the environmental pollution is because of activities of tank farm operators, such persons are entitled to their opinion, but my own take is that the government should repair the roads after which they should decentralise the seaports and see if this mess would not disappear. 

Babatunde Mukhaila (National Secretary, ANLCA)

The impact analysis of environmental degradation resulting from conversion of port access road to static articulated truck parking garage can only be checkmated simply by enforcing Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) directives that all port exited laden trucks and export laden products shall remain in the hinterland, wherein their empty TEUs and laden exportable cargoes will be discharged and reloaded within designated satellite terminals, while awaiting a new call-up approval before accessing port environment for next round of loading and discharge of exports.

Dr. Obiora Madu (Chief Executive, Multimix Academy)

The biggest challenge of this country is the dearth of logistics infrastructure, the LAWMA being unable to clear refuse is just one angle of it, right now, if a house is on fire, firemen cannot get into the port area, this is a logistics problem because all these were not considered when approval was given for some construction within the port. The Lagos State Government should look at the situation in Apapa, there should be infrastructure for waste management.

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