Lagos State governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu, on Monday said efforts are in top gear to address the gridlock at Apapa axis of Lagos metropolis, disclosing that plans were on by the state government to take over from the Presidential Taskforce which is currently in charge.
Speaking after an inspection tour that lasted for hours at Apapa, Governor Sanwo-Olu explained that even though the port belonged to the Federal Government, the state government would have to come in fully to address the problem to bring about a better solution to the gridlock.
This was just as stakeholders and transporters operating at the port Lagos, who received the governor on the visit, attributed lackadaisical attitude of the agency’s officials and alleged extortion by security personnel as cause of gridlock in the area.
“This is not the first time, certainly not the second and in fact, this is about the third or the fourth time in my government that we are trying to see how we bring better solutions to Apapa gridlock.
“On all of the time we have come, we knew that we are having a road construction but you can see now that inside Apapa, there is significant progress in this area, particularly on the road construction site. A lot of roads have been done.
“Today, even being a public holiday, it is even difficult for us to say that we have achieved a 100 per cent traffic free flow into Apapa,” Sanwo-Olu said.
The governor assured the affected stakeholders that he would take their matter to the doorstep of appropriate authorities for them to take drastic measures on the issues raised, just as he pleaded with all various stakeholders to give him evidence that could be used to nail the so-called cabal extorting them.
He said the government was ready to make people scapegoats, stating that there had been allegations about a cabal collecting money from operators.
“Now, there is a process that is starting in which the state government needs to take over from the task force. One of the reasons for this trip is to start that process, to see things for myself.
“The state government is to set up a seamless operation to have a team of LASTMA about 400 to 500 persons, dedicated to Apapa gridlock, and have a team of policemen from Area B dedicated to the same gridlock,” the governor said.
Sanwo-Olu, who lamented the long hours it takes for goods to be lifted from the port, expressed that his visit would give another opportunity to resolve this issue identified as “the roadblocks.”