For the most loathsome reason, Apapa, the home of Nigeria’s premier seaport, is relatively free for motorists to drive through this Monday morning. Like other parts of town, the port city is also responding to the coronavirus fears that have literally shut down Lagos.
As deadly and loathsome as the coronavirus pandemic is and continues to be, this seems to be a positive side to it. Monday up to Friday last week, it was inconceivable to come to Apapa in less than two hours from outside the port city. The gridlock was total and negatively impactful.
This morning, coming to Apapa is not only easy and less stressful, but also less costly. There are fewer vehicles on the road and this applies to most parts of Lagos. The trucks are still on the bridges but not as heavy and menacing as before.
Lagos State government at the weekend ordered all its civil servants within grade levels 1-12 to stay at home for the next two weeks beginning from today, Monday, March 23. All schools in the state have also been ordered to shut down beginning from today.
The combined impact of these orders on the roads is quite significant. But it remains to be seen how the state government’s order to motor parks to put in place hand-washing facilities and sanitisers for operators and the passengers being obeyed, if ever such orders will be complied with.
Government’s directive on public passenger buses to load at 60 percent capacity is also not being complied with, making a huge joke of the social distancing practice.