The Vice President of Oodua Maritime Forum, Mr. Ojo Peter Akintoye has blamed the persistent gridlock witnessed within and outside the port city of Apapa on the presence of the petroleum tank farms littered over Apapa as well as the ongoing road rehabilitation in the area.
Speaking in a chat with newsmen in Lagos recently, Akintoye thumbed up to the activities of the Presidential Task Team on Decongestion of Apapa Gridlock adding that “their efforts are to the extent that we can call it a successful.”
Further enumerating the achievements of the task team, he said, “they have been able to get us a trailer park that for so many years has not been working, to make sure that they release it and they also make sure that they convince the federal government to convert Ijora terminal to trailer park.”
While explaining that why it seemed that the gridlock still persisted was because of the tank farms that were located along the corridor, he however called on the federal government to do something about it as according to him, there was need to relocate them.
He continued, “Secondly, the road construction that is going on now, though we know that we are going to experience some challenges, the two major trailer parks that were opened for now, if not for the road rehabilitation that is going on now, Apapa would have been different from what it used to be in the past.
“I think that since the road reconstruction is still going on, the residents and those working in Apapa will have to bear it for the period that the reconstruction work will last. I can see from my experience on that road last week that the level of work on the road is improving.
“But if the tank farms along the Apapa axis continue to exist, we will still continue to experience the problem. The best way for the federal government to address this Apapa gridlock if they are not going to relocate the tank farms is for the federal government to provide overhead bridge from Mile 2 to Apapa for port users to use. The money we realize in Apapa in a year is more than enough to do the bridge.
“How many roads in Nigeria are generating the kind of revenue that Apapa roads are generating? Tell me what the federal government has done on Apapa roads in the last eight years. The Oshodi-Apapa expressway was awarded since 1999 during Obasanjo’s government.
“We have two solutions to Apapa gridlock problem; it is either the federal government relocates Apapa tank farms or, in the Apapa master plan, create dedicated lane for trucks going into the ports. The entire problem started with the concession of the port and with the establishment of tank farms.
“I don’t see anything that Fashola did in the last four years as Minister of Works, Housing and Power. When he was the governor of Lagos State, he was suggesting relocation of tank farms to the federal government, so when he is with Presidency now, why did he refused to do it. Where were the tank farms located before? Did they not exist before now? The only thing that the federal government can do like I said is to create dedicated lane for trucks going into the ports.”
Photo: Vice President, Oodua Maritime Forum, Mr. Ojo Peter Akintoye.
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