MEMBERS of the Presidential Taskforce on the Apapa Traffic Gridlock has been given two extra weeks to resolve the problem by the federal government after they failed to meet the earlier deadline given to them.
Earlier this week, vice president Professor Yemi Osinbajo approved the extension at a meeting of the taskforce with stakeholders held at the presidential villa in Abuja. According to Professor Osinbajo’s spokesman Laolu Akande, the taskforce, commenced its assignment on May 24 and had up to June 7 to complete the assignment.
He said that the panel is now expected to present a formal report at the end of its extended mandate on June 24. Membership of the team is drawn from the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigerian Shippers Council.
Mr Akande said: “The presidential directive was issued for the clearing up of the Apapa gridlock and the restoration of law and order to Apapa and its environs within two weeks. The directive followed an emergency meeting convened by President Muhammadu Buhari and chaired by vice president Yemi Osinbajo on the 25th of April, 2019.
Other members include a special unit of the Nigeria Police Force led by a commissioner of police, the Federal Road Safety Corps, representatives of the Truck Transport Union, the Lagos State government through the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority and other relevant ministries, departments and agencies. Professor Osinbajo added that it will take both medium and long term solutions to ultimately enable the committee present to the users an efficient port environment for the economy and businesses to thrive.
He warned that the committee will not allow any interests to undermine our nation’s economy. Professor Osinbajo directed the NPA and other stakeholders to expedite action on the opening of additional truck parks and parking bays around Lagos as well as the commencement of the electronic call-up system at the port.
Comrade Kayode Opeifa, the executive vice chairman of the taskforce, said that despite the challenges experienced in the course of the assignment, it was able to record a significant compliance level of the presidential directive on the clearance of the Apapa gridlock. He added that efforts are ongoing to open new parking bays for trucks around the port area and in other parts of Lagos, preparatory to the commencement of the electronic call-up system at the port.