The Lagos state government said Monday that it would take over the management of traffic from the Presidential Task Force to restore sanity in the Apapa area.
Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu said this during a fact-finding visit to Apapa ports to determine the reason for the relentless congestion in the port area, despite providing a park for articulated trucks.
Sanwo-Olu said his administration would create a special team to take over traffic management in the area.
He also said that a stakeholder meeting would be convened, involving representatives of the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA), freight unions and port operators, among others.
According to him, the meeting is to work on how to resolve the prolonged traffic stagnation at Apapa, as well as have more efficient and effective port operations in the general interest of the public.
The governor denounced the level of indiscipline of the port actors and promised to tackle head-on the threat of extortionist tendencies that is launched against security personnel in the vicinity of Apapa.
“This is not the first time, it is certainly not the second and, in fact, this is the third or fourth time in my administration, that we are trying to see how we can bring a lasting solution to the Apapa stagnation.
“Every time we’ve come, we knew we had a road under construction, but now you can see that within Apapa, there is significant progress. Many roads have been made.
“Today, even being a holiday, it is even difficult for us to say that we have achieved a 100 percent free flow of traffic to Apapa,” he said.
Sanwo-Olu added that there were allegations about a cabal collecting money from operators and there were also counter-accusations.
“You know that since last year the presidential working group was working. Now, there is a process that is beginning, in which the state government needs to take over that task force.
“One of the reasons for this trip is to start that process, to see things for myself.
“The state government is going to establish a smooth operation to have a LASTMA team of 400 to 500 dedicated to blocking Apapa.
“Also have a team of police from Area B dedicated to the same traffic jam. Understand what the airport police command is doing, because they are also part of the problem, “he said.