Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode, yesterday appealed to the Federal Government to ensure that seaports in other parts of the country become functional to decongest Apapa ports and environs.
He argued that besides helping government to save funds spent on managing the traffic and regular repair of roads damaged by articulated vehicles, this will end the gridlock caused by trucks and trailers on the Apapa-Oshodi ruote.
He also charged the Minister of State for Petroleum, Ibe Kachukwu, to fashion out how petroleum products would be transported through oil pipelines by ensuring that they become functional and more effective.
Speaking during a town hall meeting at the Community Primary School, Iberekedo, Ibeju-Lekki, Ambode said: “In the last one week, everyone can see that there has been appreciable improvement in the traffic experience within the axis.”
He lamented that it was pathetic that the Apapa gridlock has become perennial, but the challenge is to find a permanent solution to it and that was why President Muhammadu Buhari directed the Vice President Yemi Osinbajo to provide a permanent solution.
“We are grateful to the President for his intervention. We believe that every layer of government should collaborate to resolve the crisis.
“But we all should know that the Apapa crisis is more than just the traffic issue.
All states depend on it for revenue through the Nigeria Customs Service because the revenue is shared at the Federal Accounts and Allocation Committee (FAAC).
If anything goes wrong at the ports, whatever they get from the place could reduce,” he said.
He explained that beyond Apapa, a tank farm has been approved at Ijegun axis, which has a huge population, adding that government needs to distribute tank farms to other parts of the state to free up Lagos roads.
The governor also disclosed that the reconstruction of a section of the Apapa-Oshodi expressway yet to be completed would begin within the next two weeks.
He appealed to Lagos residents to be calm and bear with the state government over the construction works that came with pains, saying he was optimistic that the residents would again rejoice after this period.
Ambode assured that the future of Lagos was stable, pointing out that the state under him will create a more prosperous economy.
While stating that the Ibeju-Lekki-Epe axis was the new economic hub of the state, he appealed to residents to cooperate with government, as it was prepared to create a better future for the state and generations unborn.
He said airport and refinery being built in that axis would create huge employment opportunities that would benefit indigenes, noting that all outstanding compensations would be paid while the expansion of the Eleko road would begin in January 2019.
While responding to a request by a resident that some schools in the area do not have required teaching staff, Ambode said he would address the issue by employing 1,000 teachers immediately.