The Minister of Works, Dave Umahi, has declared that no existing federal road can last up to seven years.
He said the verdict was based on findings gathered during his recent road inspection tour crisscrossing the entire nation, noting that some roads are riddled with potholes and have deteriorated into “boreholes”.
The minister expressed his dissatisfaction over the poor jobs done by the contractors over the years while addressing contractors from the six geo-political zones at the ministry headquarters on Tuesday, in Abuja.
Expressing his dismay at how contractors cheat Nigerians with the materials they use to construct roads in the country, the minister said the contractors have been in the habit of increasing the cost of their projects to swindle the country through contract variation and the use of asphalt materials, which are subject to the international price of crude oil.
The former Ebonyi governor also questioned the unauthorised additional work undertaken by contractors and urged them to obtain proper authorisation. He emphasised the importance of thorough documentation and clearance procedures, making it clear that contracts would not be signed without the necessary design plans and original road blueprints.
He said, “There is no project being constructed right now in Nigeria that is going to last for seven years. The question is are we going to be maintaining or reconstructing our roads every 10 years? That is what we have been doing. I travelled from Abuja to Benin City through Lokoja, all the stretches of the road are on contract, and ongoing, this is through the policy of the last administration but how much of the roads are motorable? I travelled through the roads myself and I shed tears for the kind of pains our people are going through.”
“I spent 14 hours on the road having started my journey at 10 am and got to Benin City at 2 pm the next day and I was very happy I experienced the pains. President Tinubu said I must travel through all the projects so that I could brief him on my experience and tell him the truth.
“Unless Mr. President does something about our procurement, his lofty intention to help this country may not be achieved. documents will be sent to the Bureau of Public Procurement for a no-objection certificate and it will stay for six months. How will the contractors do the additional job you directed them to do without backup authorisation.”
While criticising workers in the ministry for not supervising road projects, the minister also castigated the entire construction industry in Nigeria, stating that the poor condition of the roads is partly due to a lack of professionalism and outdated construction methods and further directed all contractors to redesign their projects to concrete technology rather than asphalt and vowed not to pay any contractor who does not adhere to the directive.
According to the minister, claims that the cement price would go to N9,000 if the government starts doing concrete roads is false, as it is part of a big campaign of blackmail against him by the cabals in the construction industry.
“This is my line of instructions and I will do whatever the president instructs me to do he is the only one and God that can cancel my instructions so don’t waste your time reporting me to anyone apart from these two. No matter the amount of blackmail and lies, it will not prevail, the minister reassured.
Following the death of Nigerian singer, Ilerioulwa Aloba, also known as Mohbad, Marlian Music record owner, Azeez Fashola, also known as Naira Marley, has vowed to clear his name and prove innocence of his involvement in the death of Mohbad
The Marlian Music boss said this via a statement shared on his Instagram handle on Tuesday, added that he was ready to assist the police investigation surrounding the death of his former signee, Mohbad.
Expressing his readiness to assist relevant agencies in the investigation process, Naira Marley said, “In light of the police invitation, I am making arrangements to return to the country to assist the investigation and give my version of the events. I am fully cooperating with the Police team and I certainly have no reason to be a fugitive when l have no hand in his death.”
“In due time, the circumstances surrounding Mohbad’s death will be unveiled and the world will know the truth. This kind of scenario of attempting to set someone up is not novel in the industry as other great musicians have experienced the same and came out better and stronger. Mine will not be an exception as I am innocent of the accusations,” the statement partly read.
Naira Marley, while explaining further, said since Mohbad left the label in September 2022, and the label accepted his departure, “Marlian Music did not stop or interfere with his career or releases since and he has been with oneRPM. Legal efforts were made to reconcile his concerns regarding the work we had done together.”
Recall that Mohbad died on September 12 at the age of 27 in Lagos State.
He was buried on September 13. However, following an investigation by the Lagos State Police Command to unravel the cause of his death, Mohbad’s remains were exhumed for an autopsy.
The Lagos State Police Command last Thursday confirmed the conclusion of the autopsy.
The Lagos State Police Command Public Relations Officer, Benjamin Hundeyin, who confirmed the developments to our correspondent in an exclusive telephone interview said, “Mohbad’s corpse has been exhumed and medical experts have successfully concluded the autopsy on the corpse tonight. Our concern as the police is the outcome of the autopsy, as we’re expecting the result soon.”
No fewer than 3,567 jobs were lost in the manufacturing sector in the first half of 2023 according to figures obtained by The PUNCH from the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria.
MAN disclosed this in its half yearly review of the economy, which was released on Tuesday.
According to the report, employment generation in the manufacturing sector declined to 6,428 in the first half of 2023.
This was 32.8 per cent reduction in employment generation capacity when compared with 9,559 jobs generated in the first half of 2022.
The report read partly, “In the same vein, a total of 3,567 jobs were lost in the first half of 2023, indicating 1,855 more jobs lost when compared with the 1,709 jobs lost in the corresponding half of 2022, and 850 more jobs lost when compared with 2708 jobs lost in the last half of 2022.”
MAN said the decline in the number of jobs created in the sector during the period further highlighted the unfriendly business environment, resulting from the hasty policies and residual effect of the currency redesign policy that led to the naira crunch.
The report also stated that the inventory of unsold finished products in the manufacturing sector increased to N271.9bn during the first half of 2023, compared to N187bn in the corresponding period of 2022.
This indicated a substantial rise of N84.88bn or 45.4 per cent over the timeframe. It also showed N11.64bn or 4.1 per cent decline when compared with the inventory value of N283.6bn recorded in the second half of 2022.
“This increase in inventory can be attributed to a weakened purchasing power of the consumers, brought about by diminishing real household income resulting from the ongoing escalation of inflationary pressures, compounded by the scarcity of naira in the first quarter of the year and the aftermath of the subsidy removal,” the report said.
It noted that subsidy removal and exchange rate unification policy towards the end of the first half left the economy on the brink of uncertainty, caused a ripple effect that further eroded investors’ confidence.
MAN stated that, “As a result, businesses and foreign investors are increasingly wary of committing capital, thereby hindering economic growth and prospects for recovery.
“The combined effect of these is the resultant higher inflationary pressure, which fuels the cost of production, reducing consumers’ purchasing power and having a greater impact on the manufacturers.”
The Independent National Electoral Commission has fixed September 21, 2024, for the Edo State governorship election while that of Ondo State will be held on November 16, 2024.
The electoral body said the announcement was in line with Section 178 (2) of the constitution, stipulating that election into the said offices shall be held not earlier than 150 days and not later than 30 days before the expiration of the tenure of the last holder of the office.
Similarly, Section 28(1) of the Electoral Act, 2022 requires INEC to publish the Notice for the Election not later than 360 days before the date of the election.
In a statement by its Chairman, Information and Voter Education Committee, Sam Olumekun, on Tuesday, INEC noted that the tenure of the governors of Edo and Ondo states will end on November 11, 2024, and February 23, 2025, respectively.
“The Edo governorship election will hold on Saturday, September 21, 2024.
“Party primaries will hold from February 1-24, 2024 while the submission of the list of nominated candidates via the online portal will start at 9 am on March 4, 2024 and close at 6 pm on March 24, 2024.
“The final list of candidates will be published on April 23, 2024, while the campaign in public by political parties commences on April 24, 2024, and ends 24 hours prior to election day on September 19, 2024,” INEC said.
For Ondo State, it said, “The governorship election will be held on Saturday, November 16, 2024.
“Party primaries will be held from April 6-27, 2024 while the submission of the list of nominated candidates via the online portal will start at 9 am on April 29, 2024, and close at 6 pm on May 20, 2024.
“The final list of candidates will be published on June 18, 2024, while the campaign in public by political parties commences on June 19, 2024 and ends 24 hours prior to election day on November 14, 2024.”
Reacting to the announcement, the Edo State All Progressives Congress and the Labour Party expressed excitement and their readiness for the poll.
APC Publicity Secretary, Peter Uwadiae, in an interview with The PUNCH, said, “The release of the timetable shows that work has just begun. We are aware that the election will be competitive as we are going up against a sitting governor, who will be hell-bent on putting his successor in power.
“We did well in the last general elections by winning six of the nine House of Representatives seats and two out of the three Senate seats. We want to improve on that in the 2024 governorship election.”
Similarly, the LP Public Relations Officer, Sam Uruopa, said, “We are ready. So far, we have the highest number of aspirants in the state. We are going to provide a level playing ground for all of them and leave no stone unturned to ensure that the best candidate emerges. The Edo people are behind us and that will help us win the election.”
Also, in Ondo State, the APC Director of Publicity, Mr Steve Otaloro, said, “This is indeed a positive development. As a political party, we can now officially begin our preparations for the upcoming election. In due time, we will share our plans with you, including the intentions of our aspiring aspirants both within the party and to the public.”
In the same vein, the Publicity Secretary of the Ondo PDP, Mr Kennedy Peretei, said, “We are prepared and we shall set the necessary machinery in motion to participate and put an end to the suffering of the people of Ondo State.”
Brazil legend, Ronaldo Nazario, has got married for a third time.
The 47-year-old walked down the aisle with 33-year-old model Celina Locks in Ibiza.
The stylish pair wore all white as they celebrated the occasion with family and friends at the weekend.
A picture on social media showed the pair being showered with white flower petals as they made their way from the altar.
“Today we bring our families together for an intimate religious celebration,” Celina wrote on social media.
“And thus marks the beginning of a week of many celebrations.”
Ronaldo and Celina had announced their engagement in January after the former Real Madrid striker proposed on a Caribbean break.
The couple had been dating for the past seven years.
Super Eagles striker, Victor Osimhen has threatened to sue Napoli over a TikTok video that was posted on Tuesday.
The clip appears to mock Osimhen for missing a penalty during their 0-0 draw with Bologna in Serie A last weekend.
That proved to be the game’s defining moment and was a rare miss from the Nigerian – who has scored three goals already in his first five matches this season.
The video was eventually pulled down by Napoli following a serious backlash on social media.
Osimhen’s agent, Roberto Calenda, has hinted that Osimhen is considering legal action against his club.
“What happened today on Napoli’s official profile on the TikTok platform is not acceptable. A video mocking Victor was first made public and then, but now belatedly, deleted.
“A serious fact that causes very serious damage to the player and adds to the treatment that the boy is suffering in the last period between media trials and fake news. We reserve the right to take legal action and any useful initiative to protect Victor,” Calenda said.
Nigeria Turns 63
U.S. Deputy Secretary of the Treasury Wally Adeyemo traveled to Lagos, Nigeria, on a three-day visit last week as part of Washington’s strategy to counter China and Russia. His visit came at a time of growing instability on the continent caused by nine coups in three years.
The intended message of the carefully choreographed trip was clear: U.S. diplomacy in Africa is back, and to counter “foreign actors” the Biden administration wants to partner with Nigeria, the continent’s largest population and economy.
Adeyemo, the highest-ranking member of the African diaspora in the Biden administration, was born in Ibadan, a southern city about 80 miles from Lagos. His family emigrated to California when he was 2 years old.
Adeyemo told an audience at the graduate Lagos Business School that the country’s “economic and social impact” could be felt beyond its borders “with a diaspora that has spread across the world, bringing with them the unbounded creativity and innovation” found across the country. He drew upon Nigeria’s immense but underutilized global soft power in film and pop music.
But as Nigeria celebrates 63 years of independence on Sunday, the visit unintentionally demonstrated the country’s most glaring problem: Nigeria’s status as a talent exporter.
According to the Washington-based Migration Policy Institute, Nigerian Americans are the most educated immigrant group, and Nigerians top the most educated of all people living in the United Kingdom, where they occupy positions as surgeons, doctors, and nurses.
Grappling with a stagnant economy, failing infrastructure, rolling blackouts, and insecurity, it is not surprising that japa—a Yoruba word meaning to flee—is a prevalent thought among Nigerians looking to migrate. As Ugonna-Ora Owoh explained in Foreign Policy, the “japa phenomenon is fueling brain drain in Nigeria,” particularly within the country’s health care sector, which has seen a 280 percent increase in the number of Nigerian-trained nurses and midwives practicing in the United Kingdom since 2018.
Of course, many young urbanites in Nigeria are highly educated; they hold multiple degrees and yet are often without jobs. Meanwhile, Nigeria’s northern region has the country’s largest population of out-of-school children, who are destined for early marriages that bloat population figures and worsen the country’s economic woes.
Security remains a serious challenge. Gunmen abducted at least 20 students from a university on Friday in northwestern Nigeria, while a state commissioner and former local government official were kidnapped over the weekend. Some students were later rescued. Measly government spending on education, health care, and jobs continues to fan the flames of insecurity—a challenge Nigerian President Bola Tinubu has yet to address.
Several Biden administration officials, including Secretary of State Antony Blinken, have visited Nigeria, but Adeyemo’s speech in Lagos could be one of the most direct by a U.S. official on the problems ailing Nigeria. He said stabilizing Nigeria’s currency and rooting out corruption are key priorities. “I know the Nigerian people are willing to make sacrifices in the service of progress but have a legitimate fear that corruption and mismanagement will dash their hopes that the benefits of these reforms will enrich the people rather than the powerful,” he said.
Tinubu has tried to make the country more attractive to foreign investors by implementing tough fiscal reforms. He scrapped the fuel subsidy that cost the state $10 billion last year and ended a system of multiple fixed exchange rates, prompting the currency’s official value to plummet by more than 40 percent.
But the changes introduced together and without warning amid record inflation caused pain in a country where an estimated 133 million people live on less than $2 a day. “The country’s minimum wage of 30,000 naira per month has not increased since 2019, despite the sharp increases in cost of living,” Pelumi Salako wrote in Foreign Policy. To ease hardship, the Nigerian government suspended fuel price increases, which effectively brought back a subsidized price.
The U.S. business presence on the continent has historically not been geared toward what countries such as Nigeria need. By contrast, a new Lagos metro service that was built by the state-owned China Civil Engineering Construction Corp. began operation earlier this month.
Nigerian officials have railed against a global financial system that does not work in Africa’s interests. For years, Nigeria has argued for reforms to global corporate tax policies that favor the richer economies that make up the membership of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD). A report, which will be finalized in the coming weeks, by United Nations Secretary-General António Guterres supported Abuja’s grievances, saying OECD rules “do not adequately address the needs and priorities” of poorer nations.
However, some Nigerians are skeptical that Tinubu will be a reformer. The country’s constitution requires at least one minister for each of its 36 states, but Tinubu’s 45-member cabinet is the largest since Nigeria’s return to democracy in 1999. Nigeria’s bloated cabinet means a continuation of rent-seeking within government; analysts say Tinubu has rewarded ex-governors who supported his election with jobs.
While Nigerians are asked “to endure record inflation and general hardship, the President’s failure to rein in the cost of governance from the top is disappointing,” read an editorial in the Nigerian newspaper Punch. The paper argued that Tinubu’s appointees included “recycled politicians with doubtful administrative value, and poor performance in their previous public office.”
Investors welcomed Tinubu’s swift removal of Nigerian Central Bank Gov. Godwin Emefiele, who oversaw a ruinous currency swap policy just before an election in February as well as other monetary decisions based on cronyism. Under former President Muhammadu Buhari, the bank lent more than the government could legally borrow, contributing to Nigeria’s $113 billion state debt. Yet Emefiele’s suspension cemented the erosion of Central Bank independence. Nigeria’s bank governor can only legally be removed following a two-thirds majority vote in the country’s Senate, but approval was not sought before his ouster.
Many Nigerians praised Tinubu’s speech at the U.N. General Assembly, emphasizing that he is “mindful” of the hardship he has asked Nigerians to endure on economic reforms, but in doing so Nigeria needs a “truly” equal partnership on foreign investment. Nigerians are also watching whether Tinubu can reform what keeps many qualified Nigerians out of Nigeria: its own government.
Nigeria matters—in global culture, in regional diplomacy, and in the potential of a young workforce. After six decades, Nigeria’s young and innovative citizens are still waiting for their parents’ and grandparents’ dreams of a prosperous Nigeria to be realized.
Six decades of Nigerian elitism. As Nigeria prepares to celebrate 63 years of independence, Adebola Rayo in the Republic reviews Chinua Achebe’s novel No Longer at Ease, first published in 1960. The novel set in a Nigeria about to gain independence explores a flawed political system in which bribery and the loss of traditional African values corrupt even the most idealistic of leaders. Rayo argues that the novel’s themes still hold lessons for Nigeria’s future.
Nosmot Gbadamosi is a multimedia journalist and the writer of Foreign Policy’s weekly Africa Brief. She has reported on human rights, the environment, and sustainable development from across the African continent. Twitter: @nosmotg
At least seven clubs booked their places in the Carabao Cup fourth round on Tuesday night.
Current holders Manchester United thrashed Crystal Palace 3-0 at Old Trafford.
Alejandro Garnarcho, Casemiro and Anthony Martial got the goals for the Red Devils.
The match was the night’s only fixture pitting two top flight clubs against each other.
Elsewhere, Wolverhampton Wanderers lost 3-2 to Ipswich Town, while Luton Town were stunned 1-0 by Exeter City.
Burnley hammered Salford City 4-0, Mansfield Town needed penalties to see off Peterborough United after the game ended 2-2.
Port Vale defeated Sutton United 2-1 and Middlesbrough beat Bradford City 2-0.
It is now one hundred days since Elder Sheriff Francis Oborevwori took over the reins of power as democratically elected governor in Delta State in a well, if you like, fiercely contested gubernatorial election. Instructively and expectedly, there has been no pussyfooting in policy initiatives and implementation. To be sure, a man who served the state as House Speaker for six years and worked closely with the immediate past governor while in office, recondite administrative experience in state matters has definitely served this humble, calm, friendly, openminded, down-to-earth, and pragmatic man excellently. He therefore deserves our congratulations and encouragement on this milestone. The eight-year sojourn in Government House Asaba has just started.
Oborevwori has also patiently and palpably established one fact: he is fully in charge of the government of Delta State. To be sure, any chief executive who craves success knows they must carry all stakeholders along in decision making. Broad consultations are crucial. Stakeholders and party leaders need to be brought into the picture. The two former governors of the state who threw their hats into the ring to ensure that he emerged must be routinely consulted. It is commonsense to do so, especially with Dr. Okowa who backed Oborevwori with all the energy and forces he could muster. But the buck stops somewhere: the desk of Governor Sheriff Oborevwori!
Measurement of success is often hinged on deliverables on appointments, short-term interventions in projects, ability to relate with persons from all strata of society, medium and long terms policy pronouncements, making the people feel the impact of government, and financial prudence. On appointments, the governor has sought out politicians who have contributed to PDP electoral victory in the state. He has also catered to the interest of powerful stakeholders who stood resolutely by him in the tough days of campaigning and when some erstwhile party stalwarts exited the PDP when it seemed that they were most needed. He has also brought in young and new faces into the administration as commissioners. The youths are the fulcrum of any country, especially in the labour force. Bringing them early into administration is a way of sowing seeds for the future. He has added persons from other age brackets to guarantee a well-nuanced mix.
The process of appointments has been deliberate, measured, and calculated to achieve maximum effect and satisfaction. For example, State Commissioners were appointed only after the federal executive council had been constituted though his list of appointees was ready before then. It is certain that not all politicians will be happy. The positions available are not enough to please everyone in the political class. Not even the federal government has been able to achieve this. But this is where elected and appointed officials should help the administration by carrying all stakeholders in the polity along.
At the end of one hundred days, Governor Oborevwori commissioned projects in the state. Most of the projects were started by his predecessor in office. Oborevwori explains that government is a continuum, and it therefore makes sense to finish up projects which the administration which he was part had started. For example, multi-billion-naira projects were inaugurated at the Dennis Osadebey University Anwai-Asaba, 29 network of roads with 31.45 line drains around Madonna College road in Asaba and Okpanam areas of Oshimili South and Oshimili North Local Government Council areas of the state. The governor has promised to commission the Ughelli-Asaba dualized road project as soon as possible.
The civil service is crucial to the success of any administration, being the engine room of government bureaucracy. This class of people need to be kept happy through sound policies and a healthy welfare package. As a listening leader, the governor dived straight into one of the challenges of civil servants by approving palliatives for them. Apart from ten thousand naira added to their monthly salaries to subsidize their transportation, the governor also approved days off and days on duty for civil servants. That way, workers do not come to the office daily. The cost of commuting from one point to the other is enormous to the ordinary worker whose take-home pay is usually not enough to take them home!
Governor Oborevwori’s latest act of inviting widely known construction giant Julius Berger to tackle infrastructure deficit in Warri has thrilled Deltans who had always expressed dissatisfaction with the state of roads in that ancient city of oil! This is a bold move. Enerhen Junction and indeed PTI junction are begging for attention. A statement of possible new approach to road construction. In one of our post-election chats, Governor-elect had assured all that he would intervene massively in Warri and in any other parts of the state that require government intervention. Indeed, at his inauguration ceremony at the Stephen Keshi Stadium, the rapturous reaction that followed his declaration that he would work massively on Warri is an indication of how the people feel. Although the Abraka-Agbor and Sapele-Benin roads are federal, these roads impact the lives of Deltans. It would be great if the Oborevwori administration could enter a deal with the Minister of Works to enable the state government to stop the nightmare that the roads have become.
Certainly, there is a lot of work to be done in the state. The menace of Fulani herdsmen is still felt in some parts of the state. The state government is working in consonance with federal security agencies to curb their menace. The scoundrel herdsmen around Jesse and Uwheru must be dealt with decisively. Managing divergent viewpoints and a multiethnic state is not a tea party. In this Oborevwori has done well.
In commending Oborevwori for ‘sheriffying’ Delta State by promising to do and doing more than what was done in the past, it is apposite to say that it is morning yet on creation day. It is hoped that there will be foreign direct investments, that the youths would be given adequate attention, especially the ones who seem to have made internet fraud and money ritual their career. Education has been given a boost by the establishment of more universities so that any Deltan who is qualified will not be denied space to pursue their dreams. By commissioning the facilities in the university in Anwai, the governor has sent a strong message to the youth in the state and beyond: SCHOOL NO BE SCAM!
DESPITE the ultimatum by Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu of Lagos State ordering sanity along the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, truck drivers and touts, yesterday, dared the governor to evict them.
It will be recalled that Governor Sanwo-Olu, last Friday, carried out an inspection tour of the axis with an ultimatum to the truckers to vacate the road or face the consequences.
Despite the partial compliance on Monday, the traffic situation has worsened as touts returned to the Mile-2 axis unchallenged by the Police and Lagos State Traffic Management Authority, LASTMA.
The truck drivers, who claimed to have settled everyone involved in the traffic management along the route, are daring the Lagos State government to address the problem by tackling the root cause and other contributory factors, adding that truck drivers are human beings too.
We’re suffering untold hardship—Truck drivers
A truck driver, who identified himself simply as Abdullahi, said: “From the look of things, everyone is blaming truck drivers, who are suffering untold hardship on the road while the police, LASTMA, NUPENG officials and area boys, who extort us are left to continue with their exploitations on us on daily basis.”
Abdullahi, therefore, urged the state government to convene a meeting of all the parties involved in the management of the axis with truck drivers to find a lasting solution to the problem.
“I am appealing to the government to meet with all the parties to find a lasting solution, otherwise their current effort is like scratching the surface of the matter,” Abdullahi said.
He noted that most of the officials mentioned are living on the sweat of the truck drivers, who spend days under the sun and rain with harassment from the officials and area boys.
Touts return as Police, LASTMA look on
Some of the drivers, who spoke toVanguard on condition of anonymity, disclosed that the road has become their last bus stop as the government has refused to provide them with rightful places to park.
One of the drivers, who looked quite tired, asked our reporter if he thought that they were happy to work under the conditions they found themselves in.
The driver said: “Do you think that we are happy to work under this harsh condition without taking our bath for days and with harassment from area boys, Lagos State Transport Management Agency, LASTMA, Police and other security agencies?”
He lamented that it had been their wish that the traffic should flow but those in authority have refused to do something about the whole thing.
“Why have they refused to do something about the harassment and extortion by the various security agencies and area boys?” the driver queried.
Pressed by the reporter to say their expectation from the government, the young driver said: “You should ask the Nigeria Ports Authority, LASTMA, Police and area boys why the traffic is not flowing.
“They know why they are making everything difficult for us so that they can make more money daily.”
Lagos summons stakeholders’ meeting
Meanwhile, Lagos State Government has summoned a stakeholders’ meeting with port operators tomorrow to address the lingering gridlock along the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, particularly at the Mile-2 axis of the state.
The stakeholders include leaders of Nigeria Union of Petroleum and Natural Gas Workers, NUPENG; Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA; National Union of Road Transport Workers, NURTW; Road Transport Employers Association of Nigeria, RTEAN; Lagos State Transport Management Authority, LASTMA; Nigeria Police, Federal Road Safety Corps, FRSC; Petroleum Tanker Drivers Association, PTDA; Nigerian Navy and the Army, among others.
The Lagos State government had earlier, reconstituted the Joint Security Task Force established to tackle the Apapa gridlock and other security threats within the axis brought about by the blockade of major roads in the area by tankers and containerized trucks.
The Apapa gridlock, in the past few weeks, had worsened due to the breakdown of the earlier Ccall-up system and operations at the ports.
We won’t tolerate lawlessness—State govt
Special Adviser to the Governor on Transportation, Sola Giwa, said the state government was worried about the development in Mile-2 and Oshodi-Apapa Expressway and would not hesitate to wield the big stick if the unions refuse to let peace reign and comply with the laws of the state.
Giwa said: “Enough is enough. The state government will not tolerate needless lawlessness in the state. As part of efforts to return peace to the area, the Lagos State Government has summoned stakeholders to a meeting on Thursday, September 28, 2023 to restore permanent sanity to the area.
“I can assure you that critical decisions would be made to ensure that normalcy returns and sustained in the area in line with Governor Sanwo-Olu’s directive and commitment to restoring sanity in Apapa.”
There must be total enforcement—Residents
Meanwhile, some residents and stakeholders in the axis have expressed worry over the chaotic traffic on the road, saying there must be total enforcement and monitoring of the policy.
Tosin Mogbadunade said: “I am an entrepreneur and I come to Apapa. I frequent the road. Decades ago, it was a commercial centre but many businesses have packed out, shut down or relocated. My parents moved out of Apapa, Area B axis. There should be transport policies put over there and systems that work like Area B, here.
“If I were the government, I would look for the team that worked here and put them over there (Mile-2). Consult and assign them to formulate policies. Empower them with resources. We can start from Oshodi to create parks where trailers/trucks can go there and not stay on the road.
“Apapa doesn’t exist in isolation. So if we are to enjoy these results in Apapa, we have to extend it to the entire environment.”
Also, the Secretary of Apapa Club, Seyi Akinboboye described the traffic situation in Apapa as a living hell.
Akinboboye said: “To enter Apapa from Carter Bridge into Apapa, it takes you up to four, five hours driving in. It was a nightmare but the task force brought sanity into the whole thing.
“However, we need the local government to come in and fix those bad roads because it creates a bottleneck entering Apapa.
Also, Dambaga Gawuna, a councillor in Apapa Local Government Area, representing Ward B, said: “What we need on this road is coordination and serious monitoring. This means like 6:00 am – 6:00 pm.
“The Lagos State government should use the media to sensitize the people, especially truck owners, and the port users too, that things have changed. There is a need for publicity.”