Nigeria President Muhammadu Buhari Wednesday ordered the immediate removal of all trucks from the bridges and roads within Apapa within 2 weeks.
“A Presidential directive has been issued for the immediate clearing up of the Apapa gridlock and the restoration of law and order to Apapa and its environs within 2 weeks,” the presidency tweeted.
“The directive mandates the immediate removal of all trucks from the bridges and roads within Apapa and all adjoining streets leading into the Apapa axis,” it added.
The presidency said it has directed “operators of trucks and tankers have also been directed to vacate the Port Access Roads within the next 72 hours.”
The directive followed an emergency meeting convened by Buhari and chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on the 25th of April, 2019.
The presidency said “the meeting proffered lasting solutions to the gridlock around the Lagos Ports, as the traffic congestion has continued to restrict all operations and livelihood in the area.”
The taskforce will “report directly” to Buhari in the development of an efficient and effective management plan for the entire port area traffic, including the cargo, fuel distribution and business district traffic; enforcing the permanent removal of all stationary trucks on the highway, and the development of an effective manual truck call-up system, pending the introduction of the electronic truck call-up system.
“It also includes the implementation of a workable Empty Container Return and Export Container Truck Handling Policy, amongst others.”
Members of the taskforce, he said, included Mr. Kayode Opeifa, former Commissioner of Transport in Lagos State, as the Executive Vice Chairman; a representative of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC); the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA); and the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC).
Other members include a special unit of the Nigeria Police Force led by a Commissioner of Police, representatives of the Truck Transport Union, the Lagos State Government through the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), and other relevant MDAs.
“In addition, LASTMA has been authorised to move into Apapa as the lead traffic management agency, while the NPA is to commence the immediate use of the Lilypond Terminal and Trailer Park A as a truck transit park,” it added.
In 2018, Vice President Osinbajo ordered a 72-hour operation to clear the gridlock in Apapa. However the gridlock problem caused by tankers and truck persisted.