A member of the House of Representatives in Nigeria Mufutau Egberongbe, has urged the government to concentrate on the revival of railways and waterways transportation in Apapa, to end perennial gridlock at the Lagos port.
Egberongbe said that more efforts were needed to sanitise the area of congestion, which he noted had paralysed economic activities in the area.
According to him, the “notorious traffic situation” in Apapa is orchestrated by the activities of the port located in the area.
“The port was originally designed to do 33 million metric tonnes, but it currently does 80 million.
“This shows that the infrastructure is now over-stretched, resulting in the terrible traffic congestion experienced on roads around the area daily,” he said.
The federal lawmaker commended Vice Chairman of the Presidential Task Force, Mr. Kayode Opeifa, and Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State for their constant visits to Apapa with a view to ensuring that the lamentable situation was resolved.
“I want to ask that they should accelerate the issue of the port ongoing in Badagry and that of the Lekki Free Trade zone for the decongestion of the Apapa area.
“In the long run, the railway and the water transportation facilities in the state should be rejuvenated.
“The railway had been a medium of carrying large amount of goods from Apapa to other areas of the state and the country before the facility became moribund.
“The rail lines are still there; they should be revamped,” he said.
He, however, urged the federal government to also take advantage of the navigable waterways in the state.
The lawmaker said that it was important for the authorities to consider cargo tracking at the port as one of the means of reducing gridlock in the area.
Egberongbe, who used a great deal of his tenure in Lagos Assembly to champion decongestion of Apapa, urged the Federal Government to assist the state and Apapa Local Government in providing palliatives.
According to him, funds should be made available to Lagos State and the local governments as a form of revenue to make it easy for them to sustain and protect roads and other infrastructure affected by activities at the port.
He lamented that the challenge had resulted in low value of properties in Apapa.
The lawmaker called on the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), NIMASA and private organisations operating in the area to activate corporate social responsibility, especially in relation to roads and drainage facilities.
Newsmen report that residents of Apapa have faced the challenge of heavy gridlock for long, which made the Federal Government to constitute a task force to arrest the situation.