More than one month after Vice President Yemi Osinbajo visited the ports in Lagos and ordered a 72-hour joint operation by security operatives to clear the gridlock in and around the Apapa, very little progress appears to have been made. Osinbajo, who paid an unscheduled visit to Apapa at the peak of the gridlock on July 20, had directed relevant government agencies to immediately embark on the decongestion of the Wharf Roads and the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway to allow for free flow of traffic. Less than a week after issuing the directive, the Vice President accompanied by the Governor of Lagos State, Akinwunmi Ambode and the Minister of Transportation Rotimi Amaechi, on July 26, 2018 held a meeting with relevant stakeholders on the traffic management mechanisms at the Western Naval Command, Apapa.
However, a visit to the Lagos Port Complex (LPC) Apapa on Wednesday revealed that several cargoes and containers remain trapped inside the port despite the deployment of over 1,000 security personnel by the Lagos State Police Command and other relevant agencies in an operation tagged ‘Operation Restore Sanity’.
The President, Nigerian Importers Integrity Association (NIIA), Godwin Onyekachi, described the Vice President’s order as “cosmetic”, arguing that a lasting solution lies in addressing the core problems that led to the gridlock.
According to him, “Deploying security operatives in their large number was an interim measure guaranteed to fail because the major problem has not been addressed by government yet.
“A major problem is the collapse of the Apapa–Oshodi Expressway, which has been neglected for several years by the Federal Government. This road is the major entry and exit points for the ports and other businesses in the Apapa area.
“The situation on the Apapa-Oshodi expressway forces truckers to use the Apapa-Ijora-Wharf road, which is a very narrow road and which has been under construction for more than a year.
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