The Federal Government recently advised the Senate to immediately consider long-term plans for technical re-design and expansion of the Apapa-Ijora-Orile-Mile 2 access trunks, and the Apapa/Tin Can-Mile 2-Oshodi corridor in Lagos State.
This was sequel to a motion sponsored to that effect by Senator Oluremi Tinubu (APC Lagos Central) and 106 other senators.
The upper legislative chamber also called on the Nigerian Port Authority, NPA, to immediately reactivate the railway link from the port to the outer parts for easy evacuation of petroleum products, adding that the Lagos State Government should collaborate with Federal Government agencies for short and long term solutions to the gridlock.
Similarly, it directed its Committee on Marine Transport when constituted, to invite the management/leadership of NPA, Nigerian Shippers Council, Federal Ministries of Works and Transport, the Western Naval Command, National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW, Association of Maritime Truck Owners, AMATO, and the Nigeria Police, among others to dialogue on the way forward.
Tinubu in the motion entitled: “The Apapa Port Gridlock,” noted that 75 per cent of Nigeria’s trade is ship-borne and shipped through the Apapa Port where cargo and petroleum products bearing trucks regularly cause gridlock on Papa-Mile 2 and Apapa-Oshodi corridors, adding that the trucks also parked on bridges and flyovers for days and weeks.
She therefore expressed concern that “this perennial logjam on all access roads in the Apapa maritime corridor has resulted in telling consequences on the nation’s economy.”
The lawmaker also regretted “the obvious non- compliance of the world-class and notable local marine operators with the 25 years Lagos Port concession terms to modernise port facilities.”
She added that non-provision of free flowing shipping activities was responsible for the sustained incidence of traffic lockdown of the Apapa shipping corridor.
According to her, “the Apapa Port terminals are critical integral part of our national inter-modal transportation chain that bear directly on Nigeria’s maritime/economic activities.”
She said the Senate was mindful of the huge national security, human and environmental risks of the present traffic situation in the Apapa maritime axis, arising from deadly fumes and falling containers as a result of bad roads.
The Senate President, Bukola Saraki, while ruling on the motion, urged all the relevant Federal Government agencies to find short and long term solutions to the gridlock in order to save money, time and lives being lost on the road.
He also advised maritime players and other operators to always use railway to transport petroleum products instead of tankers, so as to drastically reduce the gridlock.
Source: National Mirror