A letter written recently by Nigeria’s foremost maritime media firm, Ships & Ports Communication Company to the nation’s 468 Federal Lawmakers requesting them to take legislative action to end the perennial Apapa gridlock is paying off as the issue has enjoyed the attention of members of the upper legislative chamber.
Ships & Ports had sent individual letters to all the 360 elected Members of the House of Representatives and 108 elected Senators in July “in order to bring the plight of Apapa residents and port operators to their knowledge”.
Senator Oluremi Tinubu (Lagos Central) and many other lawmakers had earlier called and/or written to the company promising prompt action on the traffic menace.
Acting upon a motion on the matter sponsored by Senator Tinubu and 106 others, the Senate on Tuesday mandated its committee on Marine Transport, when constituted, to invite the management of the Federal Ministries of Works and Transport and other relevant government agencies to fashion out way out of tackling the gridlock.
Tinubu in her lead debate noted that 75 per cent of Nigeria’s trade is ship-borne and shipped through the ports in Apapa where cargo and petroleum products bearing trucks regularly cause gridlock on Apapa-Mile 2 and Apapa-Oshodi corridors.
The lawmaker added that the trucks also pack on bridges and flyovers for days and weeks.
She expressed her concern that the perennial logjam on all access roads in the Apapa maritime corridor has resulted in telling consequences on the country’s economy.
Tinubu said she was mindful of the huge national security, human and environmental risk of the present traffic situation in Apapa, arising from deadly fumes and falling containers as a result of bad roads.
She also prayed that the Western Naval Command, the Nigerian Union of Road Transport Workers (NURTW), Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMATO), the Nigeria Police and others should be summoned to dialogue on the way out of the perennial gridlock.
She equally prayed the Senate to urge the Federal Government to immediately consider long-term plans for technical redesign and expansion of the Apapa-Ijora-Iganmu-Orile-Mile2 road as well as the Apapa-Tin Can-Mile 2-Oshodi corridor.
In the letter it sent to the lawmakers, Ships & Ports, while requesting the lawmakers to take legislative action on the gridlock, noted: “Not less than 80% of Nigeria’s trade by volume (and 70% by value) is carried by sea. 75% of Nigeria’s seaborne trade is conducted through Apapa and to allow this important community to be crippled by the menacing gridlock will mean creating more harm to the nation’s economy.”
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