AMG Logistics Update: We hope it will be sustained; residents applaud clearing of Apapa gridlock
Residents of the Apapa community yesterday expressed gratitude to the federal and state governments of Lagos for eventually removing the gridlock on the highway and port access roads across the port area of Lagos.
On Sunday, when the SHIPS & PORTS correspondent visited the Apapa and Tin Can Ports, for the first time in a few years, the roads leading to the two busiest seaports in Nigeria were devoid of the normal traffic congestion.
The clearance of the port road started on Saturday when the modern electronic call-up system implemented by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) began.
In order to ensure the successful operation of the call-up scheme, NPA and the Lagos State Government ordered trucks to clear highways and port access roads. Both harbour trucks are expected to park at eight permitted truck parks before they are called to the harbour via an app called ETO.
SHIPS & PORTS have obtained the eight parks are situated in Ojota, Obanikoro, Oregun, Olowotedo Ibafo, Amuwo-Odofin, Orile-Iganmu, and Okorisan Lekki Epe. The parks combined have the capacity to hold 3,000 vehicles.
Some of the residents of Apapa, who spoke with SHIPS & PORTS on Sunday, commended the Lagos State Government and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) for finally getting rid of the gridlock, voicing expectations that the initiative will be maintained.
Paul Odunlami, who lives in Apapa GRA, said, “This is amazing. We figured the gridlock was going to be intractable. The government has allowed the issue to continue for so long. I’m pleased they actually agreed to take the bull by the horn. I hope and pray that the endeavor will be continued. Another resident, Chukwuma Vincent, said, “If you’ve been to Apapa in the past, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Our companies have gone bankrupt, the land has lost value, and people have died.
“I call on the NPA to accept this. For the first time in many years, I went to my home, and I cried. I didn’t think we had a government in Nigeria again. It’s worth celebrating, and I can only hope it lasts.”
Port stakeholders, who also commended the new electronic call-up system, encouraged truck owners and drivers to collaborate with the government to ensure that the gridlock would not return.
“When the access roads to the port are open, the cost of doing business at the port can be minimized. For eg, it costs more than one million naira to transport a container from Apapa or Tin Can to other parts of Lagos. That’s because the trucks spend a few days on the road until they can reach the port, so when they don’t waste too much precious time on the road, we expect freight charges to be reduced,” said Tajudeen Adeyemi, a freight forwarder.
In a tweet posted on Sunday, NPA reported that sanity had returned to Apapa as the gridlock had finally been resolved.