The Presidential Task Team on the Apapa gridlock has handed over the road traffic management duties to the Lagos State Government. This is contained in a statement by Mr. Kayode Opeifa, the Executive Vice Chairman of the task team, on Tuesday in Abuja. The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that due to complaints by commuters around the Apapa port corridor, President Muhammadu Buhari, on April 25, 2019, inaugurated the task team chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, SAN. Opeifa was the executive vice-chairman in charge of the day-to-day operations of the team.
The team also had representatives of the Inspector-General of Police; Lagos State Government; Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA; Nigerian Shippers Council, NSC; Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, PEBEC and Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC. Others were the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, FMWH; Dry Cargo Truckers; Wet Cargo Truckers; Apapa residents and Local Government; the Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG; and Petroleum Tanker Drivers Union, PTD.
Speaking on the completion of the team’s task, Opeifa said that the team handed over the traffic management of the road to the Lagos state government after it completed its duties.
“After weeks of careful planning, I am pleased to announce that the presidential task team charged with the responsibility of the restoration of Law and Order on Lagos roads, leading to Apapa and around Lagos Port and Maritime Logistics Corridor, has successfully handed over its activities to the Lagos State Government to be supported by the Lagos State Police Command.
“Following the restoration of relative normalcy on the axis with a massive reduction in congestion and traffic, the task team completed its task and decided to withdraw on October 7, 2020,’’ he said. Opeifa said that a report of the activities of the team was presented to the Presidency on Oct. 7 2020 at a meeting chaired by the vice president. He said that those and in attendance were the `Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi; the Minister of Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola; the Controller of the Nigeria Customs Service, retired Col Hameed Ali and Managing Director of the NPA, Hadiza Bala-Usman.
According to him, Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council, Mr. Hassan Bello, FRSC Corps Marshal, Dr. Boboye Oyeyemi, and the Deputy Chief of Staff to the President Mr. Ade Ipaye, also attended the meeting. He said that the handover process began on Nov. 8, 2020, and was completed on Dec. 29, 2020. Opeifa listed the achievement of the team.
“Restoration of law and order on all roads leading to the Lagos Ports and within the Lagos Port Maritime logistic Corridor, removal of all stationary trucks on Lagos roads leading to the Ports. “Development and deployment of an efficient and effective Traffic management plan for the entire port area traffic (including the cargo, fuel distribution, and business district traffic).’’
“Traffic Management Direction as contained in the Presidential Task Team’s Operational Order, Guidelines and Modus Operandi which incorporates Port Operations, Incident Rescue Management, Truck Throughout and Park Management and Special Purpose Apapa Port Area Traffic Management with strict enforcement protocols.
“The current operating system backed by appropriate enforcement has the capacity to clean up any congestion within two to six hours with the cooperation of major stakeholders and an effective incidence and recovery management system by LASTMA,’’he said.
He said that other achievements include the “development and deployment of a Manual Call Up system pending the introduction of an electronic system by the NPA.”
Opeifa said that the “system incorporated into the Traffic management plan, envisaged trucks are called from Nominated Parks into Transit Parks (Lilypond and Tincan Island Transit Truck Parks) for call up into the Ports.”
“Working with NPA and the NSC, the team developed and deployed a workable Empty Container Return Handling Policy to handle empty containers and a reduction in the cost of Port Cargo Haulage from the Ports to different parts of the country,’’ Opeifa added. (NAN)