Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, yesterday, stressed the need for review of Apapa port concession agreement.
Speaking during an inspection tour of Apapa-Oshodi-Ojota-Oworonshoki expressway project, Fashola, who also advocated for the decentralisation of the ports, noted that gridlock around Apapa would have been averted, if the initiators had the foresight on the consequences of truck parks concession.
Fashola, who said that 50 per cent of cargoes that arrive Lagos leave for different parts of the country, added: “The gridlock at Apapa is as a result of some unforeseen challenges that emanated immediately after concession of the port.
There use to be truck parks inside the port, but immediately it was concessioned, they drove out the trucks. Probably some of these trucks would have been inside. So, can we review those agreements?
“Also people who have many trucks but don’t have parking space do park on our roads, that can’t continue. Because the road is build for public use not just for someone that is doing his or her business. You can’t do your business at my own expense.
“We also need to realise that this port was built in 1975, so we have out grown the port which makes the Lekki Port a good development. We also need to decentralize the port in such a way that other ports across the country become functional.
“When you look at the movement of cargoes, 50 per cent of these cargoes don’t stay in Lagos. Why don’t we shift stake to where the cargo is going to have some relief. Government can give incentive to people who use other ports to encourage them.”
Fashola, who stopped over at Berger-Mile2, hinted that the car dealers within the cloverleaf that government’ll resolve to relocate them, maintaining that such practice ‘is not acceptable anywhere in the whole world.”
He continued: “Cloverleaf is not for sales of tokunbo cars, It’s for beautiful designs and flowers that are pleasing to eyes. Am going to work with the Lagos State government and other interested parties to ensure that we get a better place where you can do your decent business.”
He appealed to different agencies and arms of government to collaborate with Federal Government in ensuring that people get the best from the newly and ongoing road construction.
“Am pleading with Nigerians to make good use of the road, obey laws and avoid reckless driving. We want people to be law abiding citizens, don’t drive one-way, and don’t pour engine oil on the road.”
The Federal Controller of Works Lagos, Engr. Olukayode Popoola, also, assured of the government’s commitment towards ensuring that the section 1,2,3 and 4 of Apapa-Oworonshoki-Ojota Expressway is completed this year.
“Section 1, 3 and 4 are about 90 percent completed while the section 2 which was recently included was at 10 percent. We are committed to speedy completion of this project but at the same time we still have some challenges to deal with such as traffic management among others.
“If the road is properly managed it can last more than 40 years, they are concrete road but nothing last if it is abused.”