Increasingly, Apapa is getting messier and suffocating with each passing day. The past two to three days spanning Wednesday to Friday have been particularly tough for motorists and commuting to the port city is no longer better than journeying to hell.
Virtually all the trucks have been ‘poured’ on to the roads and bridges from Lilypond Trucks Terminal to the bridges by an over-zealous worker who, BusinessDay learnt at the weekend, released over 60 trucks to the road at once without any arrangement to monitor their movement to the ports.
“This is against our usual operational procedure. Normally, we release trucks from Lilypond in batches of 10 at a time; but somebody who was deputizing for another person went in there and released 65 trucks at once and when he could not control them, he ran away leaving us in this mess,” a traffic controller who did not want to be named told BusinessDay.
Because of this “human error”, it has been a ‘highway to hell’ for motorists whether they are driving on the Apapa-Ijora Bridge or the Mobil-Marine Beach Road. It has come to point when 5hours are no longer enough time to commute to Apapa.
Workers in these few days have spent quality man-hours on the road. Apart from their health condition which is now at risk, productivity in their various offices has dropped and businesses are at the receiving end.
When contacted, Kayode Opeifa, the executive vice chairman of the Presidential Task Team on Apapa gridlock, assured that the congestion on the road would be cleared by the weekend, disclosing that they had been holding series of meetings with relevant stakeholders to address the problem.
Opeifa noted that a major cause of the persisting gridlock emanated from the ports which he said were also congested due to sub-optimal operations of the terminal operators, especially AP Moller.
According to him, most of the trucks and even tankers get stuck at Eleganza because they cannot enter the ports, thereby causing a huge backlog that affects other road users on their way to Apapa.