Friday, 17 November 2017

Gov Ambode Identifies Permanent Solutions To Apapa Gridlock

Lagos state governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, on Thursday identified seamless port operations as a condition for the permanent resolution of the Apapa gridlock.
Speaking at the second edition of Lagos Corporate Assembly tagged "A+ Meets Business" a forum organized by the State Government to interact with members of the Organised Private Sector (OPS) as well as Small and Medium Scale Enterprises, held at Lagos House in Ikeja, the Governor said while the move to repair the major roads in Apapa was laudable, concerted efforts must equally be put in place to address the issues that gave rise to the crisis which were more about port management.
While responding to concerns raised by the business community on the negative effects the chaotic situation in Apapa was having on their business, the Governor said call-up system for tankers and containerized trucks must be structured to eliminate the present chaos, while issuance of licenses for more tank farms in the axis must be put on hold.
He said: “Beyond the roads, the fundamental issues have more to do about the concession and also the fact that the basic capacities of the Ports not meeting what is presently going on there and then maybe in the loading bay inside the ports you only have capacity to accommodate maybe about 50 trucks and then there is no organised exit and entrance system.
"So, someone who does not have any permit drives all the way from other states without any focus and then pack on the bridge; he does not even have any business inside the ports, the ports maybe can only take 50 trucks and then you have almost like 500 trucks so everything is just totally disorganized and because Lagos is a sub-national, there are limitations of political power play and the conflict of personalities and so those things affect your organizational drive.
So, sometimes, Governors sometimes get frustrated and out of frustration you keep quiet.
"The truth is that those issues are more germane than the roads. So, if Akin Ambode goes and repair the roads but the planning process and logistics to enter the ports are not in my hand and should I now go to the long bridge at the toll gate and stop those trucks, they will say I am being sectional and so I must allow free movement as a cosmopolitan state and so people come in and go out and we are just in a fix.
"So, on other part of repairing the roads, the Federal Government has taken charge but one thing is to say what you want to do, the other thing is to quickly go and do it and so in the process of planning, speaking and delivery, it could take years but within our own limit as a State Government, we have set up a Joint Task Force of all the security agencies to ensure that at least there is still free movement within the structured chaos that we have in Apapa,” he said.
While expressing optimism that the intervention of Vice President Yemi Osinbajo would go a long way in addressing the crisis, the governor also condemned the recent granting of approval for another tank farm to be situated in Apapa, saying such would only aggravate the chaotic situation already on hand.

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