A former commissioner for Transportation, Lagos State, Prof. Bamidele Badejo said the perennial gridlock experienced in Apapa has heightened inflation in the nation’s economy.
Badejo while speaking exclusively with SHIPS & PORTS DAILY, said, “The traffic has ripple effect on the economy as it brought about additional inflation because a container that takes about N85,000 to lift now goes for about N180,000 because of the cost implications of having to wait for hours.
“There was concern for security, safety, pilferages and robberies so if we are able to analyse social cost, there is need for drastic action to resolve the quagmire on that road.”
The Professor of Geography at the Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago Iwoye, Ogun state said there was need to encourage the use of water and revitalize the rail sector for evacuation of cargo from the port.
He said, “There are options. There is need to encourage the use of water mode to redistribute the goods that were brought into the port.
“There are terminals around that can be develop as acoustic measure. There are Jetties at Mile 2, Ikorodu, Epe and all this can serve as immediate measure.
“Nigerian railways have stopped operating from the port and what led to that decision was mysterious to me because in 1985, the railway evacuated 85% of goods at the port while road accounted for 15 percent.
“Immediately they pulled out the rail system, there was no provision for other mode of transportation to accommodate the 85 percent that was withdrawn hence, the road became jam-packed with containers.
“If the rail system is no more in use and we assigned additional 85 percent to a sector that cannot accommodate more than 15 percent, then the consequences are the problems we are facing on the road now.”
Badejo however suggested the development of other mode of transportation as the solution to the chaotic Apapa traffic.
“The best solution is to resuscitate the rail system to move goods from the port to the hinterland. And also, to create satellite port especially around Badagry, Agbara Mile 2 or Ikorodu.
“We have not done serious analytical implications of that corridor to know what it is causing socially, environmentally and its health and economic implications.
“If we identify the real cost implications we will know the effect of not taking drastic measures at addressing this quagmire on the economy of the country,” he added.
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