A presidential directive issued on Wednesday 22nd May to clear up the Apapa gridlock and restore law and order to the area appears to be working, just one week later.
To ensure free flow of traffic, the directive mandated the immediate removal of all trucks from the bridges and roads within Apapa and all adjoining streets leading into the Apapa axis.
According to a statement from the Enabling Business Environment Secretariat (EBES), there’s been “over 90% compliance”.
How it happened:
- The Nigerian Navy Command has handed over traffic enforcement duties to the head of the Police team in the new taskforce.
- A team of 800 LASTMA & FRSC traffic management officials were deployed with 300 officers of the NPF providing security for the operation.
- All roads and bridges leading into Apapa were cleared of trucks by Saturday 25th May 2019; and Eko Bridge, Carter Bridge, Stadium, Ijora, Costain, Orile Iganmu, Breweries, and Oshodi Expressway were all cleared of articulated vehicles.
- A revised call-up system jointly developed by the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA), the terminal operators and the truckers’ union commenced over the weekend and is being implemented.
- Consequently, there’s now a single lane movement for the free, unhindered flow of vehicles with legitimate business into the ports.
- A corridor was also created for the movement of empty containers and exports directly from Lilypond into the ports, while all empty container-laden trucks are being directed to 54 trailer parks, and non-compliant trucks are impounded by LASTMA and NPF operatives.
Bottom line: Good news. Big relief. But the big question in all this is: Will this be sustained? For how long?