Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on Thursday assured that the anticipated reconstruction of the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway would commence within the next two weeks as part of the Federal Government’s resolve to finding lasting solution to the chaos in the Apapa axis.
Osinbajo, who spoke at a dialogue with stakeholders on the Apapa traffic congestion in company of the State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode; Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi; and Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala-Usman, among others, held at the Officers Mess of the Western Naval Command in Apapa, said the Federal Government was already looking into the issue of infrastructural renewal, especially with the state of roads in Apapa, adding that approvals for the reconstruction of the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway and other major roads linking the Apapa, Tin Can Island Ports and tank farms would be concluded within the next two weeks.
The Vice President, who also led others to inspect the roads in Apapa, said there was no excuse on the part of the Federal Government on the state of affairs in the area, noting that aside the economic implications; it was also an important residential community that must be allowed to thrive.
“We have been working quite hard now to get approval for road construction. Among the roads are the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway and Mile 2- Liverpool roundabout are important roads but they have been delayed but I am personally working to ensure that we could get that through and we are trying to look at immediate solutions that can be done and how the process could be expedited to achieve results.
“I can guarantee that we will get all the approvals done. I don’t think that it should take us more than two weeks to get the approval so that we can begin the work. There are so many other bad areas, especially the Coconut area in front of Tin Can port, the Leventis to Wharf Road is also another area we are looking at, the rehabilitation of the Creek Road so that we can have a two lane access into the ports and all of those are important roads and all of them are Federal roads, so we have a responsibility to ensure that these things are done,” Osinbajo said.
On the situation with seaports across the country and the need to decongest the Apapa and Tin Can ports, the Vice President listed insecurity as one of the major issues preventing the ports in Port Harcourt, Warri, Onne, Calabar and others from operating.
He however said that the Federal Executive Council had recently approved a security arrangement in the ports to enable them function optimally.
“A few weeks ago, the Federal Executive Council approved a maritime security arrangement for all of those areas and that has already been deployed. So we expect that as soon as the security architecture is laid out, we should be able to use those ports frequently and that would of course decongest the Apapa and Tin Can ports,” Osinbajo said.
Addressing other issues involving the movement of cargo from the Lagos ports, the Vice President said the Federal Government was in talks with a concessionaire to rehabilitate the narrow gauge rail, which according to him, will aid the quick movement of goods pending the construction of a standard gauge.
“As Mr. President had directed, what I intend to do, is that we should meet as frequently as possible. We have already drawn up some roadmap and a checklist of the various things that we need to do in the next couple of weeks to ensure that we are able to ease the situation around here and make it more decent for people to live in this community and work in this axis. It is important for us as a country and commercially also and we are definitely committed to making sure that it works,” Osinbajo said.