Apapa gridlock: Sanity gradually returning to Lagos

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Yesterday was Day Three of the Presidential Task Force exercise to clear trailers from the Apapa Port and its environs.

The Nation learnt that sanity is gradually returning to the port access roads and bridges.

The task force began the exercise by noon last Saturday, on the expiration of the 72- hour presidential order. It has two weeks to clear the port and the access roads of the gridlock that has made Apapa impassable.

The trucks, which hitherto were parked on the road from the port to Fadeyi, had been cleared as at yesterday afternoon. No trucks could be found on Western Avenue up to Ojuelegba, Iddo, Ijora Olopa and Eko Bridge.

It was gathered that the section of the road was cleared on Sunday.

The Nation learnt that while trucks which have no business in Lagos have been sent back, other trucks which are either returning empties or carrying imported items have been directed to the Lillypond Terminal, which for the sake of the exercise serves as the marshalling yard. Other trucks are parked at the private parking lots. Fifty-four of them have been approved by the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) management.

Trucks could still be seen on the Ijora-Apapa Wharf Bridge. Policemen and Lagos State Transport Management Authority (LASTMA) officials were, however, seen supervising their evacuation.

The axis that was giving the task force serious challenge as at yesterday was the Coconut, Tin Can axis. The collapse of the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, especially at Coconut, is making the evacuation difficult, it was learnt.

Contacted on the phone yesterday, the task force’s Vice Chairman and leader of the enforcement, Comrade Kayode Opeifa, confirmed that the entire Western Avenue area and the adjoining bridges had been cleared.

He said the work was slowed down on the Tin Can axis because of the bad road, adding that the exercise was, however, going on at a good speed.

One of the transport operators, who preferred anonymity, said many of the trucks around Coconut and Tin Can might have to be towed away because of the bad road.

“Several trucks at Coconut have broken down and they may have to be towed away,” he stressed.

LASTMA General Manager Olawale Musa told our correspondent yesterday that the exercise was successful so far.

He said it is, however, facing some problems at the Tin Can because the road is bad.

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