The Commander, Area ‘B’ Command of the Nigerian Police Force, Apapa, Assistant Commissioner Julius Okoro has appealed to residents of Apapa who have relocated out of the area due to perennial gridlock to return.
Okoro made the appeal yesterday when he visited the headquarters of the National Association of Government Approved Freight Forwarders (NAGAFF), which is next door to the command.
He said since assumption of office at the Area Command three months ago, he has taken traffic control as a major task.
“I took it as a task upon myself to work on the gridlock in Apapa, if it has been like that for the past few years during my time it would not be like that.
”Today the residents of Apapa can move freely. If you go around the towns in Lagos, you will notice that the traffic congestion in Apapa has reduced. So those who ran away from Apapa because of the gridlock should come back as they can now come move freely and continue their business,” he said.
He commended NAGAFF for its anti-corruption stand saying, ”I commend NAGAFF for helping the nation move forward in terms of port business and clearing of cargoes and due to that I am giving my utmost cooperation.
”If you are doing your job, do it right because if you do it right, you won’t have problem with me.”
He also warned freight forwarders against clearing and trading in contraband goods.
Earlier in his welcome address, the National President of NAGAFF, Chief Eugene Nweke who was represented by the Deputy National President, Barrister Fred Akokhia stated that the historical relationship between NAGAFF and the Area command has been a mutual and healthy one.
He said, “We have continued to dwell on this relationship which has been cordial and mutually respected on both sides and in line with the association’s corporate social responsibility.
“We would continue to do that which is good and peaceful to assist the police because as you can see, our proximity to the Command makes us an extension to the area. We will work with them in a very mutual and beneficial way.
“Apapa as we all know is a business hub especially in the maritime industry which to us is second only to the oil and gas sector and we hope that the relationship between us would further enhance it.
“We don’t want to be in conflict with the police as they have their duty and so do we in which is a responsibility to satisfy our clients, the importers who get their goods out of the ports.”
The Founder of NAGAFF, Dr Boniface Aniebonam also said that the previous Area Commander left a legacy and he believes that the relationship that the Command and the association have shared would continue.
“We have been told that when you fight corruption; corruption fights back but we are not the type. When you don’t obey the law, the law would seek you out,” he said.
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