Nigeria News

Nigeria News

Apapa: Between Towing Vehicles And Presidential Order

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Nigeria News takes a look at the Apapa gridlock and how far the presidential order has changed the face of the sometime beautiful city.

I was expecting the tanker drivers to roll in towing vehicles when the presidency ordered the removal of fuel tankers from Apapa.

But it never happened except in a few places where the tankers had completely broken down. A presidential order is yet to solve this big problem that had turned Apapa to a state of emergency.

The trailers and tankers that parked on Eko Bridge disappeared in a few day but the major road to Apapa is still battling with traffic logjam.

The tankers on Mile 2 Bridge vanished without any fight with the authorities. They have no excuse because it is an order from Abuja.

But where are they heading to? The tankers are moving towards Lagos-Badagry Road, which within a short time will become another troubled area.

The past administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode failed woefully on this axis. Lagos Badagry Road has been neglected in the last four years. No government presence.

Residents in this area, like Apapa, spend their lives in the traffic due to bad road. The government of Mr Babatunde Fashola came up with the idea of building 10-lane-Lagos-Badagry Expressway, including the rail line. The Red Line. Lagos State has access to World Bank loan to build this projects.

Fashola began the Blue light Rail that would pass through Iganmu to Marina in Lagos Island but till date, the project has been abandoned while the idea of the red light rail on the Badagry road has faded with the dilapidated road.

As at this morning, Apapa has not changed as one would have expected. Even with the presidential order, the tanker drivers are reluctant to move away.

However, it is good to hear that the new Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu has signed an executive order, declaring State of emergency on traffic and transportation.

He directed the officers of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) to embark on ship work to close at 11pm everyday.

The governor should not just give this order, the government must ensure quality assurance policy for the LASTMA officers because of the real endanger this will expose them to.

Earlier before he was sworne-in, there was the news that Sanwo-Olu promised to solve the traffic problem in Apapa within 60 days. He had since denied that but here he is, declaring emergency on traffic.

May Sanwo-Olu’s order settles the traffic in Lagos to a large extent, this is because traffic in Lagos went worse as soon as the former Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode said that LASTMA had no power to arrest.

If the LASMA must be efficient, they should be given more power to arrest the erring road user. Of course, there is also a need for the government to train and re-train the LASTMA officers.

The officers must be more civil in their approach and should not be used as a money making agency but a problemsolving department of the Ministry of Transportation.

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