Apapa gridlock: FG extends mandate of presidential taskforce by two weeks

Trucks remain on Apapa bridge 96 hours after Buhari’s 72 hours ultimatum

The Federal Government has extended the time given the Presidential Taskforce on Apapa traffic gridlock by two weeks to resolve the matter following a request in that regard by members of the taskforce and other stakeholders. 

Vice President Yemi Osinbajo approved the extension at a meeting of the Presidential Taskforce with stakeholders at the Presidential Villa, earlier in the week. 

The taskforce, which commenced its assignment on May 24 had up to June 7 to complete the assignment but is now expected to present a formal report at the end of its extended mandate on June 24.

The presidential directive was issued for the clearing up of the Apapa gridlock and the restoration of law and order to Apapa and its environs within two weeks. 

The directive followed an emergency meeting convened by President Muhammadu Buhari and chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbaj on April 25, 2019. 

While the Vice President chairs the taskforce, its daily operations are supervised by an Executive Vice Chairman, Comrade Kayode Opeifa. 

Membership of the team is drawn from the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC), Nigerian Ports Authority and the Nigerian Shippers Council. Other members include a special unit of the Nigeria Police Force led by a Commissioner of Police, the Federal Road Safety Corps (FRSC), representatives of truck transport union, the Lagos State Government through the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), and other relevant agencies.

During the meeting held on Tuesday, Osinbajo said, “We will extend the tenure of the taskforce by two weeks and we must all work together to be able to resolve all the issues raised here today.

“It will take both medium and long term solutions to ultimately enable us present to the users an efficient port environment for the economy and businesses to thrive.”  

The Vice President warned that the Federal Government would “not allow any interests to undermine our nation’s economy”.

He directed NPA and other stakeholders to expedite action on the opening of additional truck parks and parking bays around Lagos as well as the commencement of the electronic call-up system at the port.

In his presentation at the meeting, Opeifa said despite challenges experienced in the course of the assignment, the taskforce was able to record a significant compliance level of the presidential directive on the clearance of the Apapa gridlock.

According to him, efforts are ongoing to open new parking bays for trucks around the port area and in other parts of Lagos, preparatory to the commencement of the electronic call-up system at the port.   

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