- Apapa Gridlock Worsens With Alleged Extortion by Security Officials
In addition to the poor road conditions and lack of truck holding bays, the nefarious activities of some security officials, especially those of the Nigerian Navy, the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Police drafted to control traffic on major roads in Apapa, are responsible for the resurgence of gridlock in the area, findings carried out yesterday has shown.
It was gathered that only truck drivers that part with a minimum of N10,000 per truck are allowed access into the port by the security operatives while others are detained on the already choked road.
The gridlock assumed a worrisome dimension on Wednesday morning as traffic on major routes in and out of the port city came to a standstill.
The stretch of traffic extended from the Tin Can Island Port end to Mile 2 with all the lanes on the ever-busy Apapa-Oshodi expressway blocked by trucks and tankers.
The Ijora Wharf end did not fare any better as trucks and tankers occupied a major chunk of the road with the queue stretching to as far as Obanikoro on Ikorodu road. Many motorists had to abandon their vehicles to trek long distances to get to their destinations.
Further findings revealed that the resurgence of the gridlock is not far-fetched as only those who pay certain amount of money were given the right of passage to the port.
A port security officer attached to one of the terminals at the Lagos Port Complex (LPC) Apapa accused security operatives responsible for directing traffic in Apapa of turning the gridlock situation to “big business”.
He said on Tuesday night for instance, only trucks belonging to Flour Mills Nigeria were allowed into the port from midnight until 5am “for reasons best known to them”.
The port security officer, who spoke on condition of anonymity said: “Apart from the bad stretch from the back of Leventis through under Marine Bridge to Ijora ascent that requires urgent palliatives, Police and Naval officials aid certain categories of people to disrupt the flow of outbound traffic.
“On Tuesday night, all outbound traffic was stopped from about 2359 hours till 0515 hours for Flour Mills trucks to drive one-way to their facility.”