Northern Nigerian Breaking News

Buhari Orders Immediate Clearance Of Apapa Port Congestion

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The Presidency has issued a directive for the immediate clearing up of the Apapa gridlock and the restoration of law and order to Apapa and its environs within 2 weeks.

The directive, according to a statement by the Senior Special Assistant on Media and publicity, Laolu Akande, on Wednesday mandates the immediate removal of all trucks from the bridges and roads within Apapa and all adjoining streets leading into the Apapa axis.

It said that operators of trucks and tankers have also been directed to vacate the Port Access Roads within the next 72 hours.

It noted that the directive followed an emergency meeting convened by President Muhammadu Buhari and chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN, on the 25th of April, 2019.

It said “The meeting proffered lasting solutions to the gridlock around the Lagos Ports, as the traffic congestion has continued to restrict all operations and livelihood in the area.”

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The statement said, at the meeting,  were key heads and representatives of relevant Ministries, Departments and Agencies, MDAs, of government, including the Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola and Inspector General of Police, Mohammed Adamu.

Others are the representative of the Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral B.E.E Ibe-Enwo; Permanent Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Transportation, Salaam Taiwo Olufemi; and the Executive Director, Marine and Operations, Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, Dr. Sokonte Davies, among others.

It added “Consequently, a Presidential Taskforce, chaired by Vice President Osinbajo was established to restore law and order to the area within 2 weeks.

“The Taskforce, which will report directly to the President, has included on its Terms of Reference the development of an efficient and effective management plan for the entire port area traffic, including the cargo, fuel distribution and business district traffic; enforcing the permanent removal of all stationary trucks on the highway, and the development of an effective manual truck call-up system, pending the introduction of the electronic truck call-up system.

“It also includes the implementation of a workable Empty Container Return and Export Container Truck Handling Policy, amongst others.”

The statement noted that members of the taskforce, include, Opeifa, former Commissioner of Transport in Lagos State, as the Executive Vice Chairman; a representative of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, PEBEC; the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA); and the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC).

Other members include a special unit of the Nigeria Police Force led by a Commissioner of Police, representatives of the Truck Transport Union, the Lagos State Government through the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), and other relevant MDAs.

‘’The Nigerian Navy and all other military formations have also been mandated to withdraw from traffic management duties in and around the Apapa axis, while military and paramilitary checkpoints in front of the ports and environs are to be dismantled, ‘’said the statement.

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