Nigeria: Presidential Task Force's Laxity Worsens Apapa Gridlock

Trucks are back, and with fury, on Apapa roads and those leading to the port areas, no thanks to laxity on the part of the task force set up by President Muhammadu Buhari to decongest the area.

The presidential task force, set up in May to clear the gridlock in Apapa and its environs within two weeks, was only effective for a few weeks before the traffic situation worsened, THISDAY's investigation has revealed.

The task force, headed by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, whose mandate has since been renewed until sanity is restored, was set up as a result of a presidential directive that ordered the removal of trucks on bridges and roads in Apapa as well as the restoration of law and order in that part of Lagos.

Explaining the reasons of the gridlock, the Vice Chairman of the Presidential Task Team, Mr. Kayode Opeifa, said the current traffic crisis was as a result of the shutdown of tank farms on Lagos-Badagry Expressway axis by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) due to road construction ongoing in the area.

He said with the shutdown of the depots, tankers were being diverted to load in the depots around Kirikiri, Marine Beach, Naval Yard, Wharf Road and Creek Road areas of Apapa, thus resulting in the current gridlock.

But the Chairman of Ijegun-Egba Tank Farm Owners Association, Mr. Debo Olujimi, told THISDAY thursday that with the level of support and collaboration from the NNPC and other stakeholders, the depots in the axis are loading petroleum products to tankers....

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