The Lagos State Governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-olu, has said that his administration would not rest until they bring perpetrators of Apapa gridlock to book.
Sanwo-Olu made the disclosure during the inauguration of the newly reconfigured Lekki First, Second and Abraham Adesanya Roundabouts in Lagos on Wednesday.
The Nigerian Ports Authority had on Saturday inaugurated a new call-up system designed to permanently address the movement of trailers in and out of the ports, and bring about traffic improvement along the corridor.
However, contrary to expectation of a free flow of traffic following the commencement of electronic call-up system for port operations, the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, had been on a total lockdown as fuel tankers and containerised vehicles parked indiscriminately along the road.
The development has almost eroded the expected gains of the new call up system.
Recall that on Monday, the Maritime Workers Union of Nigeria (MWUN) had called attention to the incursion of petroleum products tankers on the Apapa-Oshodi expressway, a development which he said could rubbish the manifest gains of the e-call up.
The union’s President General, Comrade Adeyanju said, “there is the issue of tankers on the road, it should be the responsibility of the truckers and the Petroleum Tanker Drivers (PTD)”.
He stressed that the tanker drivers are the ones that the government should focus its attention on, so as not to erode the gains of the electronic call by the NPA.
“They need to sit them down, they are the ones whom the government should focus attention on, because they can not be using their tankers to block the expressway in the name of wanting to load petroleum products”, he maintained.
But, the Governor commended the support of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and other maritime stakeholders, while pleading with the terminal operators such as Dangote, Flour Mills, Sifax and Folawiyo Group, among others, to assist in achieving the mandate of freeing Apapa of traffic.
“Our promise to solve transportation and gridlock in Lagos, especially Apapa, we will do it well. We are going to stay there, we are going to put resources there and ensure we do what will make Apapa port access road free of traffic.
He said, “We will not stop at anything to ensure that anybody that tries to retract and take us back to where we are coming from on the gridlock on Apapa; we will do everything that we can to fight those people.
“We will name and shame them, we will bring out their names, be it a corporate organisation, company, police officer; they will go and answer to the citizens of Nigeria and Lagos. We will bring them to the public court for them to see that we are serious.
“We cannot condone the recklessness and carelessness that our citizens have gone through. My appeal is to others who have not signed on to this call-up system that we have embarked upon to do so.
“What we are seeing is the beginning of the lasting solution we have brought to Apapa. Our appeal is that we are not out of the problem completely yet. Our citizens can now see that a journey that took them three hours can, indeed, take between 15 and 20 minutes to commute.
“We have taken some troublesome people that are benefiting from the gridlock out of the way. Whatever they were earning illegally has been taken away from them. We know they will want to attempt to fight back. We will not stop at anything to ensure that anybody that tries to retract the progress or wants to take us back to gridlock in Apapa will be fought against,” he said.