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‘Apapa gridlock, nuisance to environment,’ say Residents

‘Apapa gridlock, nuisance to environment,’ say Residents

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The Apapa Government Reserved Area Residents Association (AGRA) has risen in unison to protest that trucks and trailers constitute menace to their environment. Consequently, the Association has warned that the continuous queues of trucks and tankers, blocking the network of intersecting roads, bringing traffic in all directions to a standstill, will no longer be acceptable. It therefore, issued a 21-day ultimatum to the Federal Government to rid all bridges and roads in the area of trucks to ease movement.

The Association’s president, Sola Ayo-Vaughan, a retired army Brigadier-General, has heaped the blame on the government, accusing it of inability to implement its own laws.

He regretted that the problem, which originally started within Apapa, had snowballed into a Lagos traffic, making movement in the area and its environs a nightmare.

The retired army general lamented that the bridges, which were built to facilitate movement of vehicles, have been converted into a permanent parking lot for trailers and tankers, thereby restricting vehicular movement. “Turning bridges into a parking lot is unacceptable anywhere in the world because of the inherent danger that may consequently cause calamity.

“The government has been warned of the looming danger, which is inevitable if this practice continues. It is a matter of time. It is worthy to note that government officials and the Chief Executive Officers of the companies, government parastatals operating in Apapa and Tin-Can Island ports do not reside in Apapa,” he said.

According to him, the government agencies and shipping companies operating in the area are aware of the situation, but do not care because of the financial benefits they derive from it.

He alleged that shipping companies were feeding fat on unearned container deposit and demurrage, while terminal operators were having a field day collecting crazy storage charges from importers by restricting trucks in ports under the guise of no network.

He added that truckers are also benefitting from the chaos by hiking their rates from N70, 000 within Lagos to N600, 000.

“Residents and workers in Apapa are in this mess alone and if we don’t stand up for ourselves, nothing will happen. Anything short of physical mobilisation at this point will be meaningless.

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