Flood takes over Apapa as gridlock worsens
Part of the flooded Otunba Ayodele Soyede Lane (former Park Lane), which houses the Directorate of Military Intelligence DMI, the Nigerian Shippers Council and Apapa Shopping Mall on Wednesday.
The increasing intensity of the rains especially in the last two weeks is currently taking its toll in Apapa, as most roads and street have been massively flooded.
Apapa houses Nigeria’s two biggest cargo seaports, the Lagos Ports Complex and Tin Can Island Ports Complex, prided as gateway to the nation’s economy.
A visit to Apapa shows that many of the streets and port access roads have been taken over by flood, a development that has further worsened the gridlock, which has for a very long time been a major characteristic of the area.
Most of the streets on the popular Apapa Government Reserved Area GRA, as well as Mile 2 Road, which houses most of the tank farms as well as the Tin Can Island Port are mostly affected by this flooding.
Also the Ijora end of the Wharf Road Apapa, which is the most viable access into the Apapa Port is not left out, thus impeding movement of cargo in and out of the ports.
This development has further compounded the traffic situation in the affected areas, as long queues of tankers and other articulated vehicles spill into the Ijora Bridge.
The Olodi-Apapa area of the port community, especially the Trinity and Cocoanut Bus stops are not spared by this ravaging menace of flood.
Investigations show that a major causative factor for this increasing cases of flooding in the area is the poor state of the drainages, most of which are blocked due to neglect and poor maintenance.
It was further gathered that the habit of emptying waste bins and other debris into the drains by some residents has also contributed significantly to the blocking of the drains.
Meanwhile the return of the gridlock in Apapa has constituted a major source of concern to stakeholders.
Recall that the Federal Government had penultimate week given the truck drivers one week ultimatum to remove their trucks from the port access roads to pave way for the rehabilitation of the dilapidated roads.
The truck drivers had initially complied with the directive before the expiration of the ultimatum but had to return to the roads early this week, thus worsening the traffic situation in the area, thus hampering the movement of goods in and out of the seaports.
Stakeholders have however argued that the worsening traffic situation in Apapa negates the Federal Government’s policy of enhancing the ease of doing business in the country.
According to them, ease of doing business, especially the directive on 24-hour port operations can only be enhanced when cargo can move in and out of the ports without hitches.
The acting President, Professor Yemi Osinbajo had last month issued Executive Orders on the ease of doing business in the nation’s seaports.
The acting President ordered the relevant agencies to commence a 24-hour port operation within the next three months, a development stakeholders believe is not feasible given the current poor infrastructure as well as the myriads of security challenges confronting the nation.