The volume of economic activities in Lagos Ports and their immediate environments has increased tremendously over the past decades with higher cargo traffic being recorded annually. Similarly, the port Environments especially Apapa, ljora, Olodi and
areas are witnessing a surge of businesses.
These developments have been exerting enormous pressures on the major roads leading to the Lagos Ports that comprise the Lagos Port Complex and Tin Can Island Port with an astronomical increase of vehicular traffic especially trucks conveying cargo from the ports.
Further more, the concentration of petroleum products Tank Farms wrongly located along Apapa-Mile II Expressway, the major road to the ports, has equally put more pressure on that road and most of the adjourning streets of Kirkiri, Apapa and Olodi.The trucks loading petroleum products fi’om these Tank Farms have encroached part of this expressway, thus creating traflic jam.
Regrettably, no commensurate measures has been made to remove all strictures on the Lagos ports’ road. Sadly, the Apapa – Mile 1] Expressway has been in a State of disrepair for many years, causing a lot of havoc on trucks, other vehicles, human lives
and properties. For example, the incidence of containers falling off the trucks, fiequent breakdown of all forms of vehicles on that road is quite frightening. All these make vehicle owners incur huge losses on their damaged vehicles with escalating cost of
replacement of parts.
Other soul destroying effects of the road include high man hour loss as it takes a truck laden with cargo a whole day or more to drive out of the Apapa – Mile H Expressway. Also, trucks conveying empty containers to the ports are not spared from this agony.
Commuters and other vehicle owners are equally embroiled in this harrowing experience.
The proximate causes of this chaotic condition of the road are: there has not been any move to create a park for trucks to permanently decongest that road. In addition to this, there is no conscious effort to address the evacuation of empty containers being carried to the ports. These are also a major cause of traffic jam on that road.
The real issue here is the absence of regular maintenance of the road in question. The depths of the potholes are worrisome as many vehicles spend several hours on the bumpy road before they are towed. The authorities concerned have not been able to
rehabilitate the road, what goes on is mere patch work, which is not at all helpful.
If the road is allowed to remain in this sorry state, it will definitely bring all economic activities in not only in Apapa, but a greater part of Lagos to a screeching halt. The effects on the national economy will be too bad.
To prevent the road from sliding into a greater chaos, all tiers of governments concerned should take urgent steps to rehabilitate the road and ensure regular maintenance is carried out on the road. It has become mandatory for major companies operating in Apapa to contribute in the maintenance of the road. The Mobil Oil initiative to reconstruct the Malu Road (now Mobil road) its major operational roads is a good example for the companies located in Apapa to discharge their social responsibility by ensuring that this important road is well maintained all year round.The Lagos state Government should open communication channel with Truck Owners to ensure that a spacious land is approved for a Truck Park. Shipping companies should also address the problem of empty containers that constitute bottleneck on free movement of vehicles on the road. The road must be dehassled.