Vice President, Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, said he has directed Julius Berger, the contractor handling the repair of Ijora Bridge in the Apapa area of Lagos State, to hasten work on the bridge and re-open it to traffic as soon as possible.
The chairman, Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), Princess Vicky Haastrup, recently alerted the nation that closure of a section of the Ijora Bridge, outbound Apapa, is worsening the already chaotic traffic situation in the Lagos port community.
Speaking on a Lagos-based television station, Wazobia TV yesterday, Osinbajo explained that the reopening of the bridge is vital to the free flow of traffic in Apapa and its environs.
He said: "So while we are fixing the roads, the bridge Julius Berger is building must be completed and opened. Even when the construction of Wharf Road has been completed and the bridge has not been opened, we will still experience the same problem."
The Vice President blamed congestion on the Lagos port access roads on bad roads and increased cargo volume. He accused past administrations in the country of abandoning the roads to deteriorate to their present state.
Meanwhile, Osinbajo yesterday unveiled the TraderMoni scheme to another batch of traders in Bodija and Oje markets of Ibadan, Oyo State 32 days after about 27,000 traders in Gbagi international market, Ibadan, benefited from the Federal Government's scheme.
A pepper seller in Bodija market, Monsurat Ajadi, told newsmen that the initiative was a laudable development. She said her family had been praying that she was chosen among the latest beneficiaries.
Another beneficiary, Mrs. Romoke Aweni, said the amount though paltry but was capable of changing the fortunes of petty traders, just as she promised to make judicious use of it to better her trade.
At Oje, Osinbajo was the cynosure of all eyes as he restated President Muhammadu Buhari's commitment to alleviate sufferings of the poor masses through the TraderMoni scheme, being implemented under the Government Enterprise and Empowerment Programme (GEEP).
Osinbajo said the government was sincere about empowering two million traders for the scheme, assuring that more traders would be captured nationwide.
He stressed that the policy of the Federal Government is to support businesses through the scheme, not just big businesses but particularly small, medium-sized and micro businesses.
Osinbajo appealed to those yet to benefit to exercise patience, just as he charged those who have benefited so far to use it judiciously. The scheme is being managed and financed by the Bank of Industry on behalf of the Federal Government.