As usual the Lagos state government doesn’t seem to be paying any attention to the current situation of Apapa, Lagos. The gridlock that was once there before is back again.
Business owners and employees are complaining severely about the huge amount of stress due to the time they spend in traffic. A lot of times, people don’t even get to their place of work and they spend most of their productive hours in the traffic. The productivity of plenty businesses in that area is declining seriously.
Many people who use that road on a daily basis have testified that the situation is worse than before. It has been so bad since Monday this week.
Business meetings have been cancelled while some have even been put off without any plans for it in the nearest future.
One of the most important questions every commuter of the Apapa road keeps asking is this, “what happened to the call up system that was set up to control truck movement in Apapa that was set up by the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) in coordination with the state government?”
Before now, people had tried to make enquiries as to whether or not the call up system was still functioning but Lagos, speaking through its commissioner for transportation, Fredric Oladehinde, insisted that the system was working despite the fact that the traffic congestion was so bad on every route that leads to Apapa.
Mbamalu, a clearing agent, seemed to be the most surprised that the NPA which had been at the center of the whole thing suddenly seems as though they don’t care. The same issue they had created the call up system for is staring them right in the face and yet they still claim that the system is functional. Trucks can’t access the ports and it just seems as though those in charge are living in an illusion that everything is okay on those roads.
He lamented that he had been in traffic for up to four hours just trying to get to the Apapa port gate: his day was pretty much gone because there was no time left for anything meaningful. Meanwhile, he also explained that this is why businesses there are dying.
Few officials at the Lagos state government are saying that the state doesn’t have what it takes to deal with the Apapa situation but that’s definitely not what Mbamalu and others facing this issue believe.
One of the problems of this country is that there is no proper structure and for those structures that exist, there is no enforcement at all. The least that the state government can do is to set up a complaint system to ease the Apapa problem.
On this note, Mbamalu and I dare say all citizens are calling on the state government and the NPA to replicate the success they recorded during the first few days of implementing the call up system. When they implemented the call up system, they showed that it can be done. “Now, let them do it again,” he and all other Nigerians are pleading.