Nigeria: Apapa Gridlock Worsens As Security Officials Commercialise Right of Way

The gridlock is being caused by container trucks and tankers operating around the port.

In addition to the poor road conditions and lack of truck holding bays, the nefarious activities of some security officials, especially those of the Nigerian navy, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the police drafted to control traffic on major roads in Apapa, are responsible for the resurgence of gridlock in the area, according to findings carried out on Thursday.

Investigation revealed that only truck drivers that part with a minimum of N10,000 per truck were allowed access into the port by the security operatives while others were detained on the already choked road.

The gridlock assumed a worrisome dimension on Wednesday morning as traffic on major routes in and out of the port city came to a standstill.

The stretch of traffic extended from the Tin Can Island Port end to Mile 2 with all the lanes on the ever-busy Apapa-Oshodi expressway blocked by trucks and tankers.

The Ijora Wharf end did not fare any better as trucks and tankers occupied a major chunk of the road with the queue stretching to as far as Obanikoro on Ikorodu road. Many motorists had to abandon their vehicles to trek long distances to get to their destinations.

Further findings revealed that the resurgence of the gridlock was not far-fetched as only those who pay certain amount of money were given the right of passage to the port.

A port security officer attached to one of the terminals at the Lagos Port Complex (LPC) Apapa accused security operatives responsible for directing traffic in Apapa of turning the gridlock situation to big business.

He said on Tuesday night for instance, only trucks belonging to Flour Mills Nigeria were allowed into the port from midnight until 5am "for reasons best known to them."

The port security officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity for fear of reprisal said, "Apart from the bad stretch from the back of Leventis through under Marine Bridge to Ijora ascent that requires urgent palliatives, police and naval officials aid certain categories of people to disrupt the flow of outbound traffic."

Another road user, Charles Omokaro, who also works in Apapa said the immediate remedy to the gridlock was to stop the use of one-way by some truck drivers as it not only confers undue advantage on some truckers, but was also against the traffic law.

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