Nigeria News

Apapa City: Shame of A Nation

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Nigeria News take a look at Apapa, a former eyebrow area, now a shame of the nation.

I never planned to pass through Apapa on Monday due to the bad news of traffic in the area. In a way to dodge the bone cracking traffic, I joined a ferry at Marina, Lagos Island but ended up touring a former beautiful city that has passed its glory days.

Apapa was beautiful. One of Lagos eyebrow areas due to its closeness to the sea and an industrial hub that had fed Lagos for years. However, today, Apapa has died with its ruins staring us in the face.

From the Jetty, the commercial motorcyclist demanded a N1000 fare to my destination at Berger Yard, Kirikiri Road. Amazed by his ridiculous rate, I asked him to take me to where I could get a bus. He said, “Buses don’t ply this place again, only Okada does.”

The last time I visited Apapa was in 2015. It was bad then, but Apapa has degenerated to a tank farm, the residents have all run away.

I rode on “Okada” for about 45 minutes, meandering in the millions of articulated vehicles, fuel tankers and containers. There was no car or commercial bus in sight. The whole of Apapa was jam parked with heavy vehicles permanently parked to load from Tin Can.

Where and how will these vehicles leave after loading, I asked rhetorically. Both sides of the dilapidated road were impassable for vehicles. Some vehicles had developed fault and could only be towed away from the road.

I counted no fewer than 10 fallen containers on the road. Nobody cared about when they would be removed. The Okada riders complained about the narrowness of their path as they threw their passengers in the ponds and hit them on the stationary tankers.

Successive Lagos State Governments have failed to solve the problem in Apapa, including the outgoing administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode.

It was Governor Babatunde Fashola that began the process of reclaiming Apapa from tanker drivers but he was overwhelmed by the insensitivity of the Federal Government.

As the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Fashola ensured a public, private partnership with Dangote group to reconstruct Apapa-Wharf Road.

It is still an ongoing project but the road from Mile 2 to Apapa has since been abandoned. The trailers parked right from the mouth of Mile 2 to the Flour Mill Apapa.

Severally, Ambode had used force to remove the tankers. He created a narrow path to ease movement for Apapa residents, many of whom now spend their time on Mainland and Island.

Ambode was overwhelmed, as he could not do it alone without the support of the Federal Government.

However, it sounds amazing to hear the incoming Governor, Jide Sanwo-Olu boasting that he will decongest Apapa within 60 days of his administration.

I don’t know if he has visited the place after his election. I know he was in Apapa during his campaign, he never passed through the logjam.

It will be great and a miracle of the 21st century, seeing Sanwo-Olu returning Apapa’s sanity in 60 days.

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