Lagos State Government, through Lagos State Traffic Management Committee, has restated its commitment to enforce laws against indiscriminate parking of trucks along Oshodi-Apapa expressway in order to ensure seamless traffic flow in the axis.
In a similar situation, Chairman of the Board of Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, Emmanuel Oladide Adesoye, has assured the staff of Tin-Can Island Port, that they would accelerate work on the ongoing road rehabilitation project being embarked on by Federal Ministry of Works and Housing.
Speaking on the gridlock situation in the area, the chairman of Lagos traffic committee, who is also Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Mr. Oluwatoyin Fayinka, who spoke through Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, Commander of the Mile-2, Amuwo-Odofin Zone, Mr Peter, said, “We have declared zero tolerance on indiscriminate parking by truck drivers and anyone caught henceforth will have their vehicles impounded.
“We have reordered their movement and we hope they will comply and if they fail to comply we will enforce maximum force on them.”
He therefore, called on the public to report to the authority anytime the truck drivers flout the regulation for swift response.
Fayinka recalled that at least 5,000 illegal structures had been demolished and squatters dislodged along Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, and Tin-Can Port by men of the Lagos State Environmental and Special Offences Unit, Taskforce, as part of the ongoing clean-up exercise to rid Apapa and environs of gridlock and miscreants.
He said the state government, in collaboration with NPA and other stakeholders have agreed to sustain and improve on the current traffic order in the axis in enhancing seamless vehicular and human movement.
In recent times, there had been influx of articulated trucks which has been attributed to extortion and corruption by security agencies of the state government and the police which had caused nightmare to motorists and residents.
However, Fayinka said, “Lagos State Government, NPA, stakeholders and security agencies are working in partnership to clean up all the surrounding areas of Tin Can and Apapa Ports, which commenced on July 5, 2021.
“This clean up exercise covers all the entry points to Tin-Can Island Ports, Lagos Port Complex, Apapa, Kirikiri Lighter Terminals, I and II as well as port corridors, Tin-Can, Coconut, Sunrise, , Mile-2, Orile, Ijora Sifax, Ijora-Olopa, Lilly Pond, Area B, Wharf Road, Creek Road, among others.
“The operation, after series of removal notices, aimed to clean all shanties, illegal structures, kiosks, abandoned vehicles and other impediments inhibiting free flow of traffic as well as serving as abode for criminals, street traders and others.”
The Special Adviser added that Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State had signed ‘Executive Order’ on traffic and sanitation with zero tolerance for environmental abuse, illegal and indiscriminate dumping of refuse and defacing the environment.
The affected squatters include: Petty traders, mechanics, kiosks, and others living under the bridges in cluster.
In addition to the seamless movement in the area, Fayinka confirmed that the electronic call-up system which suffered a major set- back after the launch in February, 2021, has been restored to full capacity by NPA.
“Our mandate is to ensure law and order is fully restored in Apapa and create an efficient traffic management system that allows free movement of people, trucks and cargo,” he added.
Fayinka, said his men have been fully mobilized to further ensure seamless traffic and sanity in the area which is being done in phases.
Recall that the taskforce had earlier in the first phase of the exercise after serving illegal squatters at Iganmu Under Bridge, around Whitesand, demolished all illegal structures, removed trucks and vehicles in the area and Apapa environs.
The enforcement team, led by Chairman of the taskforce, Chief Superintendent of Police, CSP, Shola Jejeloye, explained that the removal became necessary in view of the rising incidences of traffic robberies around the area, environmental nuisance caused by the squatters in the area and attendants gridlock.
The chairman noted that government was worried by the squalid environment and that it is serving as hideouts for criminals, who daily dispossess road users of their valuables every now and then, adding that the present nature of the environment allow criminals to escape police arrest.
He expressed government’s commitment towards reducing the traffic incidence around Apapa and therefore becomes important to remove every bottleneck to such policy.
Jejeloye, stated that the indiscriminate parking and abandonment of trucks on the road is inimical to the state policy and agenda.
He, therefore, warned owners of such abandoned trucks and vehicles, shanties, containers, kiosks to remove them from the area before the enforcement team gets to them, adding that “this won’t be the first notice of removal being served on the occupiers.”
Also, Chairman of the Board of Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, Emmanuel Oladide Adesoye has assured the staff of Tin-can Island Port, that the they would work at influencing government to complete the road that is presently stalled.
Adesoye gave the assurance when members of the Board paid a working visit to the port yesterday. His assurance followed complaints by the staff of the port about the difficulties they are facing going and coming from work daily.
According to him, “We will work at influencing government to speed up work on the road.”
Head of operations, National Association of Road Transport Owners, NARTO, Bidemi Adara, attributed the constant gridlock along Mile-2 inward Tin-can to the exclusion of the various truck owners and drivers from the e-call-up system, tagged “ETO” by the NPA.
He said ETO cannot work because the operators do not understand the route and have not carried along those who use the road.
According to him: “The ETO cannot work because the operators have not carried along the various unions. They do not understand the route and do not what to work with the unions.
“If they want to get rid of the gridlock, they should hold meetings with all the various unions, there will be solutions.”Follow us on social media