The Lagos state commissioner for transportation, Ladi Lawanson, has said that the gridlock currently experiencing in Apapa will disappear in the next 21 days.
Lawanson gave this assurance in an exclusive interaction with Business Day in Lagos, Tuesday.
“I can tell you categorically that within 21 days the Apapa gridlock will be revolved permanently,” Lawanson said authoritatively.
The permanent solution is expected from the initiative taken by the vice president, Yemi Osinbajo, to find a lasting solution to the congestion in Apapa.
According to the commissioner, the vice president has inaugurated a tax force committee, which the commissioner is a member, to find a lasting solution to the traffic challenges in Apapa.
The commissioner who reiterated one of his mandates, said it is his responsibility to make sure that there are free flows of traffics on Lagos roads. But part of the challenges is that some of the infrastructures needed to easy Lagos traffic are owned by the Federal Government.
“Some of the infrastructures around the port are owned by the Federal Government. There are federal roads to which Lagos State Government has no authority,” Lawanson said.
Because of the jurisdiction issues, according to Lawanson, there is the need for the agencies of all tiers of government to collaborate in order to achieve effective solutions to the problems at hand.
It is on this regard, according to him, that the state is collaborating with the central government to bring a lasting solution to the gridlock in Apapa, which will be permanently resolved in the next 3 weeks.
Collaborating the commissioner’s assertion, the chairman of Apapa GRA Residents Association (AGRA), Sola Ayo Vaughan, said that as part of the said task force committee, he can confirm that Apapa residents are about to witness a big relief from the gridlock which had paralysed their businesses and homes.
Vaughan, who declined to speak further on the issue and the steps the committee will be taken, said doing so will go against the agreed principles, but he is certain that the vice president will soon make a pronouncement on the issue.
“I will not be able to talk now because the vice president is going to make an announcement any moment,” he said, adding that “things have been put in place.”
The commissioner blamed the gridlock in Apapa to years of improper investments in logistics that will commiserate with the growing number of Nigerians that use Apapa ports.
He recalled that the ports which were built when the population of Lagos was less than 3million are still being used with the growing population of 23 million, without improving on the logistics of getting goods out of the ports.
“The gridlock is the consequent of pressure that Nigeria has put on the ports,” he noted.
It is noted that since the Easter holiday cum the president’s visit to Lagos, the traffic flow in Apapa has witnessed some levels of improvements.
JOSEPH MAURICE OGU