Barely a week after the Governor of Lagos State, Mr Babatunde Fashola (SAN) issued a quit notice to tanker drivers and other articulated vehicles parked illegally in the Apapa axis, the Federal Government on Thursday backed the move as a delegation from the Presidency visited the Governor on the matter.
The team from the Presidency led by the Special Adviser to the President on Performance and Evaluation and Chairman of the Ports Reform Committee, Professor Sylvester Monye met with Governor Fashola at the State House, Ikeja with the former declaring in an interview that from Friday, all trucks parked along Apapa road will be moved.
Professor Monye who spoke to State House Reporters at Lagos House, Ikeja said the idea is to do for Apapa road what the Lagos State Government has done for the Oshodi Expressway, stressing that notices have been given just as undertakings have been made by the truckers.
“So, it is going to be a total operation because from tomorrow we will deploy security to all the truck users. We have a substantial number of policemen and women who would lead the operation”.
“The operation is being supervised by the Inspector General himself so it is going to be a major operation and we are delighted that the Lagos State Government is totally with us on this assignment,” he explained.
Professor Monye explained that the team came to the Governor to apprise him on the work of the Ports Reforms Committee and brief the Governor on how the Committee intends to carry out the instructions of Mr President on clearing the mess at the ports and clearing the mess around the ports particularly the access roads.
In his words: “As you well know, the President set up a committee to ensure that we clear the mess at our ports and also clear the mess around the Ports particularly the access roads. He has also directed that we should clear all the impediments to international trade at the ports which you know is a part of our trade environment”.
“What we have done today is to brief the Governor on our plans on how to do the work. We propose to clear the roads immediately and that is why we came to brief him. We also came to have his support and buy in and we are very delighted that we are working together not just in spirit but also in practice”.
“You may well be aware that last week, the Governor went around and gave the truckers an ultimatum and it is very much in line with our earlier decision on the President’s side as well. So, we are working together.”
Also speaking with newsmen, the Commissioner for Transportation, Mr Kayode Opeifa emphasised that there are areas of collaboration between the state and the Presidency on the issue because just last Sunday the Governor of Lagos State went to Apapa and gave an ultimatum of one week and now there is a buy –in from the Presidency all the way from Abuja.
“From tomorrow (today), we will be at the port area to provide security for the truckers and the transporters in moving their vehicles off and after the expiration of the ultimatum, we will continue with the sustenance of that effort and that is one of the reasons why we have the Special Adviser to the President around,” the Commissioner added.
Also present during the interview were the Chairman of the State Task Force on Environmental Sanitation and Special Offences, Superintendent Bayo Sulaiman and General Manager of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Engineer Babatunde Edu and other members of the entourage of the Special Adviser to the President like Managing director of Omatek Ventures, Mrs Florence Seriki and a member of the Port Reform Committee, Mr Joe Sanni.