The existence of Petroleum Tank Farms within Apapa area of Lagos State is the beginning of traffic woes within the metropolis, Chairman, Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), Princess Vicky Hastrup, reiterated at the weekend.
Meanwhile, the lagos state government has urged terminal operators to support recently introduced e-call up system as part of measures to end the gridlock within the Apapa metropolis.
Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Oluwatoyin Fayinka, in a statement after an operation review meeting with terminal operators in the Tin Can island ports called for the cooperation of all stakeholders.
In her response, Princess Hastrup advised the state government to engage the Federal Government, relocate the tankfarms, adding that the state was sitting on a “keg of gunpowder“.
Fayinka, who doubles as the Chairman, traffic management enforcement team, declared that the meeting was a continuation of efforts to enlist the support of all critical stakeholders.
Fayinka, who noted that traffic in and out of Apapa and its environs has improved drastically, said “If you come in through Eko bridge, Ijora, Sifax or Iganmu, the road is free. The only problem we are having now is from Area B to the Port.’’
“We have actually met with shippers council and they told us they are ready.
“We have agreed that the next meeting will be to engage the Shippers Council, the truckers, the terminal operators, Nigerian Ports Authority and every other Stakeholders.
“This is because we will want the Shippers Council to be up and doing in the evacuation of empty containers. It is their responsibility to remove empty containers from blocking the roads,” he said.
The Chairman of Apapa Local Government Area, Elijah Adele, charged terminal operators on the need to support the e-call up system.
Adele noted that the time for making excuses is over, saying that everyone must cooperate with the state government on Apapa gridlock intervention.
“The traffic situation has to be drastically reduced so that your businesses can thrive.
“When the road is free, the truckers turnover will be high. Traffic causes health, security, environmental and other societal problems. I’m begging us, let’s make this work,” Adele said.
Also at the event, Senior Special Assistant to the Governor on Central Business District, Hon. Sola Giwa, urged terminal operators to automate their operations.
Giwa also revealed that Truckers had expressed frustrations at some of the actions of the Holding Bay operators, adding that 48 hours evacuation would be executed at Tincan just as it was done at Apapa Ports.
Terminal operators also pledged not to support the current intervention put in place to end the traffic gridlock in Apapa and its environs.