Prof. Yemi Osinbajo has promised that the Federal Government of Nigeria would decentralize the ports to ease the gridlock at Apapa Lagos State, adding that he would personally pursue the approval for the roads leading in and out of the Apapa area.
The vice president added that the federal government has entered into talks with a new contractor for the refurbishment of the narrow gauge rail, which would take some of the containers out of the port area, adding that an earlier arrangement with General Electric (GE) did not yield result.
Rotimi Amaechi, the Minister of Transportation stated that concessionaires, that is the terminal operators, were not sticking to the terms of agreement, threatening that he might be forced to go back to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) and ask for a revocation of the agreement.
In a bid to find lasting solution to the perennial traffic snarl that besieges Apapa and its environs, the stakeholders met in Lagos yesterday to brainstorm on workable solutions.
Stakeholders present were the Ministry of Works and Housing, Ministry of Transportation, PTML, Apapa Residents Association, Nigerian Ports Authority, National Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas (NUPENG) workers, APMT, Lagos State Government, Nigerian Navy, the police and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS), among several others.
The vice president in his speech said the federal government has no excuse in the current traffic situation bedeviling Apapa and its environs.
Touching on the issue of bad roads, which was cited by stakeholders as the major cause of the traffic snarl, he said plans had been put in place to ameliorate the situation. He said the major reason the six ports around the country are presently not used to their full capacity was because of security challenges.
Presently, he said a maritime security arrangement has been approved by the Federal Executive Council (FEC), adding that soon security arrangement would be in place to enable the ports become fully functional.