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President Buhari orders immediate removal of trucks causing gridlock on Apapa roads

Valentine Chinyem

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President Muhammadu Buhari has issued a-72 hour ultimatum to truck drivers that parked along Apapa, Lagos road to vacate.

The President noted that the vacation would help in clearing the Apapa gridlock and help in restoring law and order to Apapa and its environs.

The vacation notice was issued today as one of the outcomes of a meeting convened by President Buhari and chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on the 25th of April, 2019.

Truck drivers going into the Lagos port have turned every road and street to parking space. This has been one of the major cause of traffic in the state. The truck drivers have consistently ignored the warning by the Lagos State Government to vacate the road. Some of the drivers also bribe Police Officers, Soldiers and Naval Officers who work with thugs in the area to allow them to park on the roads.

The notice issued by the President reads, “A Presidential directive has been issued for the immediate clearing up of the Apapa gridlock and the restoration of law and order to Apapa and its environs within 2 weeks.

“The directive mandates the immediate removal of all trucks from the bridges and roads within Apapa and all adjoining streets leading into the Apapa axis.

“To facilitate this important assignment, operators of trucks and tankers have also been directed to vacate the Port Access Roads within the next 72 hours.

“The meeting proffered lasting solutions to the gridlock around the Lagos Ports, as the traffic congestion has continued to restrict all operations and livelihood in the area.”

A Presidential Taskforce, chaired by Osinbajo was established to ensure the restoration of law and order to the area within two weeks.

The Taskforce, “will report directly to the President, has included on its Terms of Reference the development of an efficient and effective management plan for the entire port area traffic, including the cargo, fuel distribution and business district traffic; enforcing the permanent removal of all stationary trucks on the highway, and the development of an effective manual truck call-up system, pending the introduction of the electronic truck call-up system and the implementation of a workable Empty Container Return and Export Container Truck Handling Policy, amongst others.”

Members of the task force include Kayode Opeifa, former Commissioner of Transport in Lagos State, as the Executive Vice Chairman; a representative of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC); Nigerian Ports, and the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC).

At the meeting were key heads and representatives of relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies (MDAs) of government, including Babatunde Raji Fashola, Minister of Power, Works and Housing; Mohammed Adamu, Inspector General of Police; Rear Admiral B.E.E Ibe-Enwo, representative of the Chief of Nigerian Navy Staff; Salaam Taiwo Olufemi, Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Transportation; and Sokonte Davies, Executive Director, Marine and Operations of Nigerian Ports; among others.