*Lagos should prioritise people’s wellbeing
Road users and passengers that are confronted daily with the traffic gridlock and deplorable roads in Apapa axis of Lagos state have heave a sigh of relieve with the free flow of vehicular movement following the order given by the Lagos state government to truck drivers to relocate their trucks.
Traditionally, roads linking to Apapa port from Lagos-Badagry expressway to Ijora, Eko bridge and Barracks in western avenue are impassable as heavy duty trucks are parked on the bridges blocking vehicular movement and causing terrible traffic jam.
But with the visit of President Muhammadu Buhari to Lagos state on Saturday as part of his campaign tour, these trucks that have constituted menace on Lagos roads are no where to be found.
Some of the Road users that spoke to Legit.ng regional reporter, Subair Mohammed who visited Apapa to assess the traffic situation, said that the traffic gridlock in Apapa should not return if truly the government are sensitive to the plights of the masses.
Sunny Edeghe works as a security guard in Apapa. He said he was relieved for the first time from the agony of road logjam since he was posted to Apapa in 2014.
He said, “In the last five years, I have never been this relieved journey through Mile 2 to Apapa roads every morning. But today (Monday 11 February) the roads are free thanks to the Lagos state who felt Mr President must not see such traffic quagmire when he visited on Saturday. I am saying those of us that live, work and journey through Apapa route are deserving of better deals. I am urging the state government not to allow the trucks that are mainly the cause of the traffic jam return to the bridges and roads. If the president is worthy of relocating the trucks for, millions of residents that ply the Apapa road are also worthy of such honour.”
Lending his voice to the subject matter is Aliyu Labor, a clearing agent and forwarder in Apapa.
Kabir said the Lagos state government should prioritise the wellbeing of its citizen over it’s internally generated revenue and politics.
According to him, apart from bad roads in some parts of the district, Apapa port is one of the major sources of income for the Lagos government and this is why they are shying away from coming hard on erring truck owners.
He added “Now that the trucks are out of the roads, I want to appeal to the government to sustain this feat and ensure that they never return with their trucks parked on the road. I also want to appeal to both the federal and state governments to desist from slaving away Nigerians due to lack of social amenities. The parked trucks are not only the challenges we are facing in Apapa, most of the roads are in bad shape too. Please tell them to fix these problems.”
Different strokes it is said are for different folks. While some road users lament the negative impacts of the blockage occasioned by deplorable road condition and trucks parked on various wings of Apapa road, some commercial motorcyclists popularly known Okada riders are groaning under low patronage and drop in their charges this Monday.
For some of them,the endless traffic logjam in Apapa isn’t a misnomer as long as it translate into an increased charges on ride for them.
Meanwhile, in an interview monitored this Monday on The Morning Show on Arise News Charles Efe Sylvester, a member of the Nigeria Port Authority, NPA, said to ease movement of goods and containers in Apapa, the NPA is working at linking the facility of the port to the rail system.
According to him, the challenges that is being encountered as a result of the traffic logjam and vehicular movement of goods from the port to the inland will soon be a thing of the past.
He said, “Although there has been bottle-necks, the Apapa road is under construction and the challenges associated with the traffic gridlock are being taken care of. We are also trying to construct a rail line that will link the NRC projects so that when goods are coming in rather than use the road, rail will be used.
The rail tracks were not working perfectly but we have started upgrading them in order to link them to the outer parts of the country. We are also working to ensure that the facility at the port are up to standard so that goods can be moved efficiently and effectively into and outside of the country and across the nation.”