Comrade Sylvester Keshiro [Transporter]
Comrade Sylvester Keshiro [Transporter]
There are lots of problems along the port access road and the solution to the problem is for government to instruct all oil and gas companies/shipping companies established along the Apapa/ Oshodi expressway and other major roads in Apapa to relocate. Most people coming to Apapa is either they have one business to do with an oil and gas firm or with a shipping company which makes it very difficult for the free flow of traffic. The removal of tankers from the road or to expand the road will not impact on the traffic situation at all. The companies along the roads are too many; couple with the fact that most of these companies park their trucks, tankers and cars indiscriminately along the road, creating problems for other commuters to move smoothly. There is nothing anybody can do except for the government to move most of the companies out of Apapa, even if the road is expanded to 10 lanes, we will still encounter the same problem.
Engineer Ahmed Iguda [Stakeholder]
It is the duty of the government to mandate all the trucks to leave Apapa roads and apart from the poor state of the port access roads, if the trucks are nowhere to be found it will ease traffic .The tankers and trucks on the road are the major obstacles on Apapa road and maintenance of the road is any factor to put into consideration because these heavy laden vehicles also contributed to the poor state of the road as well. Another way out of the problem of traffic is for the government to ensure that the tankers and truck drivers comply with instructions from officials who are designated to control traffic along the road. If the tankers and trucks can follow simple instructions that they should only occupy the service lane or a single lane, the problem of traffic congestion will drastically reduce.
Mr.Eragba Samson Eneberi [Businessman]
Government erred in the first place by allowing depots to spring up along the major road like this and as a result causing a major nuisance in Apapa. However the laws that can be used to control this traffic is not effective. Each of the depots is supposed to have a parking space for the trucks or tankers that are meant for loading and the union should be held responsible for the indiscriminate parking of their vehicles that are not supposed to be on the queue. Again the government needs to ensure that the law on traffic offenders should be enforced properly .The government do not want to tamper with the location of the companies along the road because of the huge revenue they generate from those companies, so it will be very difficult for them to do anything that will affect them totally.
Comrade Bayo Akingbulu [Dockworker]
My opinion on the state of Apapa traffic is that government should come with a directive on vehicles that are plying the road into Apapa to maintain three lanes whilst tankers and trailer make us of a single lane. The traffic in Apapa affects all aspects of business and individuals that move from their home to Apapa are not happy with what is on ground as regards traffic. Stakeholders also have a major role to play because most of the industry persons have trucks and tankers parked along the road for loading and they can also help by instructing their drivers to obey instructions from the road marshal giving directives on how to park on the port access road.
Mr.Kunle Adedoyin [Freight Forwarder]
Traffic in Lagos is a problem but for Apapa is not what we can sweep under the carpet because the government on its part have been doing all that they could to make sure the traffic congestion on Apapa road reduces, but nothing seems to work. If the government can provide holding bay for the trucks and tankers, it will be a plus on their part and if they can also fix the road from Mile 2 to the Lagos port , it will is another welcome development but to expand the roads or remove the vehicles from the road is not visible on their part due to the fact that the they know how much they realize from the vehicles on a daily basis. However the railway will be a very good option to ease traffic, but it is a long term project.
Barrister Fred Akhokia (Legal Practitioner)
The problem of traffic in Apapa is not a problem for the stakeholders, it is a problem for the government, they should be seen to be doing their work, if the police do their work in collaboration with the Lagos state government, I am sure it will reduce the problem, I am also aware that the Lagos state government has set up a new body known as LARPAC to deal with the traffic situation in Apapa, but you see, the cause of the problem is known already, all these tankers and trucks that have no place to park and they have to go inside the port to evacuate cargo are the cause, the government should come out with a holistic idea on how they will get a truck park for these people so that the roads will be free, the problem is that the roads are all choked up because the trucks park on the roads, so stakeholders cannot do anything about it, if you talk to the truck owners and truck drivers, they will tell you that they have a duty to go and evacuate cargo from the port and that since there is place for them to park, they just have to park on the road. If this is not resolved, we can remain like this forever.
Chris Onuba (petroleum supplier)
Whenever traffic in Apapa is mentioned, some people readily blame tanker drivers as the cause, but apart from the indiscriminate parking of tankers on the expressway, there is the container trucks to think of, if you look at the Ibru gate now, you will see them lined up right from the Tin Can Island Port, up to the tank farms, so, we can see that the long time spent by these truck drivers who usually spend between three to seven days on queue before they could offload the containers is another major cause of traffic. So, if people are asking government to relocate the tank farms, we must also remember that the ports also have to be relocated; if not there will not be any respite because the cause of traffic bottleneck on the axis is multifaceted.
Let us enforce it that only container trucks and petroleum tankers that are programmed to load or offload are the ones that will be at the ports at a particular time and let the terminals and the tank farms ensure that such trucks are attended to immediately
Dr. Frank Ukor (National President, AREFFN)
Recently, LARPAC had a stakeholders forum where they discussed this issue, my idea about the whole thing is that the government has to look into constructing new ports outside Apapa, probably towards Badagry and the Atlantic coast, if they do this, most empty containers will be transferred there, so when goods are released and unstuffed, the empty containers should be moved there from where the shipping companies can now use smaller vessel or barges to move the goods away from the ports, by so doing, Apapa port will be decongested.
Secondly the government should think of un-stuffing containers, when goods are released after examination, they can un-stuff and remove them from the containers and put them inside trucks where they will be taken away and there will not be need for the trucks coming back to the port after offloading, they will just go straight to the base that has been built for holding them, if we can do this, then the traffic congestion will be eased and all these traffic issues will be a thing of the past
Chief Olusegun Ologbese (NUJ Patron)
I think the federal government is trying to ease the problem already, if you get to the road now you will notice that there is an improvement there, people have been complaining before we had these changes and for now this is the little that government can do, the task force is still there, the navy, the police and of course the LARPAC are still there and they have not abandoned the place, so it will only get better with time.