Apapa Gridlock: Current Administration has failed — Apapa business owners
By Oko Ebuka
Residents and business owners in the vicinity of the Apapa ports have slammed the federal government on its failure to deliver campaign promises in fixing the roads and decongesting the area from traffic situations.
Lamenting that government has abandoned the area, the Managing Director of Kotzmatz Media Konsults Ltd, Okey Ibeke, told Vanguard Maritime Report that the chaotic traffic situation has virtually killed business activities in Apapa adding that people are now moving out of the area.
Ibeke noted that the economic effect of the Apapa traffic cannot be quantified. He explained that residents and those whose offices are located in Apapa now resort to coming to work by commercial vehicles and motorbikes, popularly referred to as “Okada”.
In his words, “At times I do not take my vehicle; I take a commercial vehicle, sometimes I trek or take a bike. We have lost virtually all our clients, nobody comes to our offices again. Once you tell them your office is in Apapa that is the end.”
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“The risk is in the discomfort of going on commercial vehicles or a bike, attacks from the area boys and so on. A lot of people have died riding on Okada and the most unfortunate thing is that the federal government does not care and is not doing anything to address the situation.”
He added that the federal government played politics with the road situation and ended up leaving it in the worst state.
“Fashola was the governor of Lagos and we know that he fought the then federal government under former president Goodluck Jonathan, for allegedly neglecting the Apapa road. He even accused the government of deliberately crippling the Lagos economy.
“During the 2015 campaign, Fashola used the Apapa/Oshodi expressway as a campaign tool against the then government.”
He said then that the roads were like that because the ruling political party at the time was strangulating Lagos. As God would have it, his political party, the All Progressive Congress, APC, won and Fashola became minister of works, but see, he has not done anything.”
“He told us to vote for Buhari, that if we do that road will be fixed but four years on, nothing has been done. The road has become worse now,” he noted.
Similarly, the Port Manager at Tin Can Island Port, Emmanuel Akporherhe, said that the port was facing the effect of the bad road and heavy traffic on the port access road.
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He equally noted that the traffic gridlock is not only threatening port but having a negative impact on the members of her staff.
Reacting to this also, president of the United Berger Motor Dealers Association, Metchie Nnadiekwe, said that the road is currently a shame. He accused the security agencies of collecting bribe and allowing truck drivers to park inappropriately.
“We are in a big shame. The road is terribly bad. And the worst part of it is that when the container is cleared, they will come around this neighbourhood again and park like two days.
“Also, our security agencies are not helping matters. They are busy collecting money and allow some trailers to go where they are not supposed to go” he concluded.