- STOAN Faults Ijora Bridge Closure
The Seaport Terminal Association of Nigeria has faulted the closure of a section of the Ijora Brigde in the past one month, noting that it has worsened the already chaotic traffic situation in the Lagos port community, thereby raising the cost of haulage to N800,000 per container.
The Ijora Bridge was closed for repairs and fortification following the partial completion of work on the two-kilometre stretch of road leading into Apapa.
The Chairman, STOAN, Princess Vicky Haastrup, frowned on the closure of the bridge, which links Apapa to other parts of the Lagos metropolis through the Wharf Road, adding that it was carried out by officials of the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing more than a month ago without carrying out any visible activity on it since then.
She said, “While one understands that the Ijora Bridge needs attention and repair, it is wrong to shut a section of it down without any visible work being carried out.
“What has happened is the avoidable reinforcement of the Apapa chaos. The Apapa-Oshodi Expressway at the Tin Can Island Port end is no longer motorable, while the Ijora-Wharf end, which is where every truck and other motorists squeeze themselves through, has been under repair for more than a year.
“The Ijora Bridge is the only way out of Apapa now and to close it down is nothing but a recipe for chaos.”
The STOAN chairman also called on the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr Babatunde Fashola, to ensure the quick repair of the bridge so that it could be reopened to motorists in the shortest possible time.
Haastrup stated, “When there is no free flow of traffic, cargoes are held up in the port and when this happens, it impacts negatively on economic activities in the country.
“Cargo backlog at the port inevitably leads to port congestion and vessel queue. This is why you see some shipping lines imposing congestion surcharge to make up for lost time.