The Apapa Local Government Area on Wednesday disclosed that at least 82 companies had either relocated or folded up in Apapa and its environs which it ascribed to the intractable traffic congestion arising from deplorable roads and unwarranted activities of articulated vehicles.
Consequently, the local government authorities canvassed outright enforcement of Lagos Road Traffic Law, 2012 in Apapa and its environs as an immediate measure to address traffic congestion in the area.
The Chairman of Apapa council area, Mr. Owolabi Adele, canvassed the position in a statement he issued after the second stakeholders’ meeting he convened in Apapa to work out measures and strategies to manage traffic situation in the area.
At the first meeting, all the stakeholders agreed that for sanity, law and order to return to Apapa and its environs, “owners of articulated vehicles parked indiscriminately in the area should be prosecuted.”
The stakeholders also agreed to a 24-hour enforcement and monitoring initiative of one-lane policy, which the Apapa council unfolded to reduce the hardship the residents and owners of businesses daily undergo in Apapa and its environs.
In a statement he issued after the second meeting, however, Adele lamented the worsening trend of traffic congestion, noting that the outcomes of survey it recently conducted showed that many companies had folded up due to traffic congestion.
He revealed that the outcome of the survey showed that at least 82 companies have folded up due to problems associated with the traffic bottlenecks.
The council boss explained that the rate at which companies “are folding up in Apapa has affected revenue accrued to the local government. We are losing so much in revenue to Apapa gridlock. Residents have also abandoned their homes and relocated due to the traffic congestion.”
He, therefore, disclosed that the local government had inaugurated Enforcement and Operation Committee and Finance Committee as part of measures to tackle Apapa’s traffic congestion headlong.
According to him, the Enforcement and Operation Committee will involve security agencies and their role is to ensure that any of the articulated vehicles not cleared which comes into Apapa is impounded and penalised.
He equally explained the role of the Finance Committee, which he said would work out strategies “to generate N130 million. The fund will be used to unlock Apapa gridlock and ensure compliance with traffic regulations.”
While appreciating the ongoing road rehabilitation within the local government area, Adele stressed the need for strict enforcement of the agreement reached at the stakeholders meeting in the overall interest of all.
He urged all stakeholders to work together “to ensure that order and sanity return to Apapa. “It will serve our interest if Apapa returns to her old status of socio-economic activities and contributes positively to the well being of the council.”
Also at the meeting, a member of the House of Representatives, Hon. Ayodeji Joseph, described the situation as worrisome, and commended his successor for according priority to the problem.
He, however, stressed the need for companies operating in the area to provide a servicing holding bay before given permission to operate.
Speaking on behalf of the Apapa Government Reserved Area, Brig-Gen. Ayo Vaughan called for adequate sanctions for drivers violating the one lane policy put in place as part of immediate solution to the problem.