“I can guarantee that we will get all the approvals done. I don’t think that it should take us more than two weeks to get the approval so that we can begin the work…”
• As Ambode shuts down illegal terminal in Ajegunle
• VP, gov meet stakeholders, resolve to find permanent solution to gridlock
Philip Nwosu and Moshood Adebayo
Federal Government yesterday said that the rehabilitation of the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway would commence within the next two weeks. Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, who made the declaration said the move was to find lasting solution to the problems of traffic gridlock in the area.
He spoke during a dialogue with stakeholders on the Apapa traffic congestion in company of Lagos State Governor, Mr. Akinwunmi Ambode; Minister for Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala-Usman, among others.
During the meeting which held naval base in Apapa, the vice president said the Federal Government was already looking into the issue of infrastructural renewal, especially with the state of roads in Apapa.
The vice president, added that approvals for the reconstruction of Oshodi-Apapa Expressway and other major roads linking the Tin Can Port and tank farms would be concluded within the shortest possible time.
Osinbajo, who admitted that there was no excuse on the part of the Federal Government on the state of affairs in the area, noted that aside the economic implications, it was also an important residential community that must be allowed to thrive.
“We have been working quite hard now to get approval for road construction. Among the roads are the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway and Mile 2-Liverpool roundabout are important roads but they have been delayed but I am personally working to ensure that we could get that through and we are trying to look at immediate solutions that can be done and how the process could be expedited to achieve results.
“I can guarantee that we will get all the approvals done. I don’t think that it should take us more than two weeks to get the approval so that we can begin the work. There are so many other bad areas, especially the coconut area in front of Tin Can Port, the Leventis to Wharf Road is also another area we are looking at, the rehabilitation of the Creek Road so that we can have a two lane access into the ports and all of those are important roads and all of them are Federal roads, so we have a responsibility to ensure that these things are done,” Osinbajo said.
On the situation with ports across the country and the need to decongest the Apapa Tin Can Port, he assured that the Federal Government is taking steps to address the security situation preventing proper usage of the six ports around the country so as to ease the traffic gridlock in Lagos.
While admitting that security was the major issue why the six ports around the country are not being used, he told the gathering that a maritime security arrangement had been approved by the Federal Executive Council and soon security arrangement would be in place and the ports would be functional.
On his part, Ambode lamented that the Federal Government would be destroying the economy of the country if it allows the deplorable state of papa to continue, especially in realization of the fact that the revenue from customs is generated from the area.
He said the government and the stakeholders are on the way to create a workable solution and save the Apapa economy. Other stakeholders who contributed, blamed the terminal operators for the problems being experienced, calling on the government to review the operations of the concessionaires.
Meanwhile, the governor wielded the big stick as he ordered the immediate closure of a terminal; Climax Bonded Terminal in Ajegunle, saying their operations were not only illegal, but also causing untold hardship to residents in the area.
Ambode, who gave the order shortly after an on-the-spot assessment, just as he ordered that other adjoining areas be closed, while the trucks parked around the terminal be evacuated within the next 24 hours.