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Apapa roads crisis worsens, threatens businesses on Ikorodu Road, Surulere, others

Apapa road

Businesses on the Ikorodu road axis, Surulere and Costain areas of Lagos are in for hard times, as the effect of Apapa gridlocks occasioned by the dilapidated roads are spreading to the areas.

The situation continues to pose huge threat to multi-billion Naira businesses around those corridors.

The Guardian investigations revealed that companies around Ojuelegba, Stadium, Nigeria Breweries (NB) Plc, Eric Moore, Ijora and Surulere are currently facing hard times due to the traffic gridlock caused by the over 2,700 petroleum tankers and trucks parked on the major roads.

The haphazard parking by the articulated vehicles has become a menace to the residents and businesses in the area.

Already, stakeholders are becoming worried about the staggering revenue losses recorded by firms in the last few weeks due to the loss of productive man-hours resulting from massive traffic jam caused by bad roads, illegal parking on the roads and sometimes, poor traffic management.

Members of the Organised Private Sector (OPS) had expressed concerns that the development now has debilitating effects on trade facilitation, cost of cargo transportation and overhead cost of businesses in the country.

They comprise the Manufacturers Association of Nigeria (MAN), Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA), Nigerian Association of Chambers of Commerce, Industry, Mines & Agriculture (NACCIMA), National Association of Small and Medium Scale Enterprises (NASME) and National Association of Small Scale Industries (NASSI).

The Guardian checks revealed that no fewer than 2,700 vehicles were parked from Apapa to Surulere up to Ikorodu road and the flyover bridges along the axis.

Director-General of MAN, Segun Ajayi-Kadir, said the traffic on these roads currently hinder access to the seaports, thereby paralysing all economic activities.

It also leads to loss of man hours, waste of fuel, increase in cargo dwell time, preventable accidents and heightened security risk.

He added that trucks hired by members of the OPS to carry cargoes cannot have easy access to the port to lift or deliver cargoes and those lifting cargoes cannot come out of the port because of the long hours of traffic.

“Imagine a situation where it is taking between five and eight weeks for our members to take delivery of their cargoes of vital raw materials.

“These same port users now pay between N350000 and N400000 as cargo transport cost as against the standard rate N100000 per cargo,” he said.

President of the National Cashew Association of Nigeria (NCAN), Tola Faseru, also decried the state of infrastructure devoted to export, saying the travel time, waiting time, and transaction time have led to the wastage of agricultural commodities with huge economic losses for the operators.

Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala-Usman, lamented the slow pace of rehabilitating the roads.

“We believe that the Federal Government through the Ministry of Works needs to strengthen its capacity around access roads.

“We have been in discussion on access roads since I assumed office. I think the Ministry of Works needs to do more in ensuring that the road is being rehabilitated. A critical example around the Lagos western port is the incomplete trailer park within the Tin Can Island Park. This is a very critical solution that will greatly assist us,” she said.

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