Vice President Yemi Osinbajo has assured that the federal government is committed to its plans to build new Sea Ports across the country to decongest the highly congested Apapa port in Lagos state.
Osinbajo who breezed into Lagos on Saturday morning and went on inspection tour with Lagos state governor, Mr. Babajide Sanwo-Olu and other top government officials to Apapa and other areas in the axis locked down by perennial vehicular gridlock stated this after the inspection while addressing the press.
Osinbajo said the government has decided to clear the trailers and tankers on the road so that there can be easy access to the port, adding that there is considerable improvement in the Apapa congestion after enforcement of presidential order in Apapa.
He said, “The Mile 2 end is the axis where we think that there are difficulties. But we think that in the next couple of days, it will be resolved especially with the opening of the Tin Can Island trailer parks and the palliative work that is ongoing all the way to mile 2 which Hi-tech is handling. And we should be able to resolve that congestion in the Mile 2 end.
“And you will see that the entry route to the port has been cleared. So, we need to understand that there are short term and mid to long term solutions. One of the mid-to-long term measures is to decongest the cargo Traffic coming into the port.
“We need to understand that this is a port that was designed to take 34 million metric tonnes daily but is currently taking over 80. With this, it is obvious that there is need to find alternative quickly. And to expand, where that is possible, of course the Lekki port is an ongoing project which will be a great help when completed because it will support the Apapa and Tin Can ports. Also, we are dredging the Warri port which is aimed towards decongesting the traffic into and out of the Apapa and Tin Can ports are done effectively.”
The Vice President added that the Lagos-Kano rail is also starting from the Apapa port, saying, “We expect that we should be able to get cargo out of the Apapa port using the rail than to take cargo out of the port using the interlands. And some are using badges at the moment. So I can tell you that there are different approaches towards getting better movement in and out of Apapa.
“This is a very busy port which was signed posted by the fact that the country is a very busy place for commerce. So traffic is bound to increase and we think that we will be ahead of the issues that could further arise with the way we are going.
“The most important thing we all need to understand is that congestion is caused by problem of space.”
He said: “With what I have seen so far, I am quite pleased with the pace of work done. But there are some aspects that still required some speed to achieve the best within the axis.
“I think the most important thing is what we are trying to do right now. We will improve the infrastructures on the port areas and the call up system so that there is no pressure within the ports,” Osinbajo added.
He hinted that the Presidency was pained by the challenges experienced resulting in its plan to embrace “intermodal system of movement within the ports to ease travel time.”
Responding to the challenges experienced by motorist within the Mile 2 end of the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, the Vice President assured them that in few days, the gridlock would ease.
The vice president was accompanied by the State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu, the General Manager of Nigerian Port Authority, NPA, Hadiza Usman, Lagos Head of Service, HOS, Mr. Hakeem Muri-Okunola and others, they were conducted around the axis by the Vice Chairman of Presidential Task Team on the Restoration of Law and Order in Apapa, Mr. Kayode Opeifa, who narrated the achievements recorded since commencement of the enforcement. [THE NATION]