25th January, 2021
Stakeholders in Apapa have called on critics to stop linking Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to the challenges of traffic gridlock on the axis, saying that the Presidential Taskforce has since delivered on its mandate and come up with solutions to permanently tackle transportation challenges on the axis.
Part of the solutions offered by the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo-led Presidential Task Team to end the perennial traffic gridlock were the introduction of the electronic Call-Up System through the Nigerian Port Authority, NPA and aggressive rehabilitation of roads leading to the nation’s busiest port.
The stakeholders, who called for caution by those bent at linking the Vice President to the resurfaced gridlock on the axis, said it was unfair to blame the VP on developments in Apapa after the Lagos State governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu had publicly announced the taking over of the management of the traffic as published in the national dailies when the governor visited the axis recently.
According to them, the e-call-up system which will control entry and exit of trucks at the Apapa and Tin Can Island ports in Lagos, with effect from February 27, 2021 was part of the lasting solutions promised by the presidential task team to address transportation challenges in Apapa axis.
With the system, all trucks and other stakeholders will be required to download and an application known as “Eto App” and will henceforth have to wait at the approved parks until they are allowed entry into the ports through the electronic call-up system application.
Therefore, the stakeholders appealed to those behind the name calling to be objective on issues relating to Apapa, saying that Vice President Yemi Osinbajo-led taskteam had delivered on its mandate with the evacuation of tankers, trucks and other heavy-duty vehicles on the road and bridges leading to Apapa and its environs.
Speaking on development in Apapa member of the Nigerian Association of Road Transport Owners, NARTO, Alhaji Ibrahim Idris said normalcy had since been returned following the VP-led TaskTeam’s intervention which led to the disappearance of indiscriminate parking of trucks on Ikorodu Road, Iganmu roads and bridges, Ijora roads and bridges, Mile 2-Oshodi axis, Orile and other suburbs.
According to him, the government has also embarked on arrays of road projects that were hitherto in deplorable state before the intervention of the Vice President Osinbajo’s team.
He said: “Why should anyone keep blaming the VP for the traffic in Apapa? The Presidential Taskforce has since submitted its report to the presidency since last year and the Federal Ministry of Transportation and the Lagos State government have taken over. Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu had also announced the plan to to set up a committee to oversee Apapa issues.”
It would be recalled that in addition to all the solutions being worked on by the federal government, the Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi while inaugurating a new operation command centre built by APM Terminals Apapa to boost efficiency and service delivery, said the rail line when completed would also facilitate the movement of containers out of Apapa Port, thereby reducing pressure on the roads.
Also speaking, a truck owner, Mr Collins Mbekwe, said that it was totally wrong to blame the Vice President or the presidential task team for the traffic gridlock, in Apapa. He added that the sudden removal of the mobile policemen from Wharf axis was responsible for the resurfaced gridlock.
Mbekwe, who queried the rationale for removing the mobile policemen while there is no better alternative plan, wondered why some people who have never visited Apapa could be publishing misleading report or article targeted at individual wrongfully.
He added: “As far as I’m concerned, there is nothing concerning the VP on this? The Lagos State government has fully taken over of the traffic control of Apapa. When the Presidential Taskforce was in control, the gridlock was never this bad. With the PTT, corruption was eradicated, abandoned roads projects received attention and would soon be completed, manual call-ups system was enforced and orderliness was restored, what else does any right thinking person expect?”
On his part, another stakeholder, Ebenezer Babalola expressed confidence that movement in and out of Apapa would be a lot easier when the e-call up system takes effect.