6 Ways to understand Buhari’s 72-hour removal order of trucks in Apapa, Lagos roads, bridges

Here are 6 ways to understand Buhari’s directive to remove trucks from Apapa, Lagos roads, in 72 hours.

Traffic gridlock in Apapa on a normal day  [Premiumtimesng]

President Muhammadu Buhari has ordered the immediate removal of articulated trucks and tankers from bridges and busy roads in Nigeria’s commercial capital city of Lagos.

Container laden trucks and tankers have made life a living hell for Lagosians; locking down the Apapa port settlement and compounding the traffic woes in a densely populated city. 

Here are 5 ways the directive would be implemented.

Chaos and gridlock are currently the state of affairs in Apapa.

The president wants sanity returned to Apapa in two weeks, from the date of his directive.

“A Presidential directive has been issued for the immediate clearing up of the Apapa gridlock and the restoration of law and order to Apapa and its environs within 2 weeks”, the statement from the presidency read.

72 hours translates to three days. That’s the amount of time the truckers have been given to stop converting Apapa and surrounding roads into parking lots. 

Surrounding roads here refers to the Eko Bridge, Costain, Abebe village road, Oshodi-Apapa expressway (Cele to Sanya to New Rainbow), Ojuelegba and Ikorodu Road.

“To facilitate this important assignment, operators of trucks and tankers have also been directed to vacate the Port Access Roads within the next 72 hours”, the directive stated.

According to the presidency, the directive followed “an emergency meeting convened by President Muhammadu Buhari and chaired by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo on the 25th of April, 2019”.

Osinbajo chairs the presidential task force on restoring sanity to Apapa and the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC).

“Members of the task force include Mr. Kayode Opeifa, former Commissioner of Transport in Lagos State, as the Executive Vice Chairman; a representative of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC); the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA); and the Nigerian Shippers' Council (NSC). 

“Other members include a special unit of the Nigeria Police Force led by a Commissioner of Police, representatives of the Truck Transport Union, the Lagos State Government through the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), and other relevant MDAs”.

The Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) has been mandated to lead the charge in restoring sanity to Apapa and environs. 

Soldiers and naval officers who control traffic in the vicinity, have been asked to back off.

“The Nigerian Navy and all other military formations have also been mandated to withdraw from traffic management duties in and around the Apapa axis, while military and paramilitary checkpoints in front of the ports and environs are to be dismantled. 

“In addition, LASTMA has been authorised to move into Apapa as the lead traffic management agency”, the statement added. 

An alternative parking lot has actually been provided for the trucks. Whether this is stop-gap or a permanent solution, is not immediately clear.

“The NPA (Nigeria Ports Authority) is to commence the immediate use of the Lilypond Terminal and Trailer Park A as a truck transit park”, the statement reads.

There would also be “the development of an effective manual truck call-up system, pending the introduction of the electronic truck call-up system”.

“The Taskforce will report directly to the President”, the statement reads. 

“The directive further mandates compliance by all security personnel and MDAs, while heads of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Nigeria Customs Service, Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing, and all other security operatives are to ensure their officers’ adherence to the new directives”.

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