Lagos State Government Wednesday raised the alarm over the safety of the Marine Bridge, noting that the structural integrity of the bridge, which stretches from Ijora to Apapa, had been compromised.
The state Commissioner for Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello, raised the alarm while inspecting the area along with his Transportation counterpart, Mr. Kayode Opeifa, said the bridge had suffered partial collapse.
According to him, the coast is now clear for the Federal Ministry of Works to come in and access the structural integrity of the bridge. The activities of illegal occupants under the bridge compromised its structural integrity.
He also pointed out that a lot of dangerous weapons “were recovered from shanties and illegal structures built under the bridge during the operation aimed at restoring law and order.
Bello decried the state of insecurity posed by indiscriminate parking of articulated vehicles and erection of illegal structures and shanties before they were respectively unlocked and demolished.
He therefore listed the kind of weapons recovered to include different types of guns, daggers, axes and cutlasses among others, which he said, were used to terrorise innocent residents.
The commissioner also expressed displeasure at the high level of environmental degradation and nuisance which he said, those living under the bridge had caused in the area.
Bello explained that the occupants “are mostly illegal immigrants who are from Nigeria’s neighbouring countries” such as Chad and Niger and from the Northern parts of the country.
He added that a good number of businesses “have closed down in this axis purely because of the situation of Apapa. With this, no investors will be interested to come to the country.”
“This has become a hideout for miscreants and criminals. During demolition of shanties and illegal structures, dangerous weapon and arms were recovered. I do not have details of the recovered arms and weapons yet.
“Aside, I am not in the position to give details about the arms and weapon. The state Commissioner for Police, Mr. Umar Manko, has the details. He is in the position to brief the media about the recovered arms and weapon,” Bello explained.
He announced the state programme of action for Apapa Central Business District, which he said, would bring about regeneration and transformation in order to sustain the gains of the operation.
Also speaking, Opeifa, who is the state Commissioner for Transportation, said before the operation, unauthorised parking by drivers of tankers and trailers had forced several businesses to pack up in Apapa.
But according to him, Lagos State Government in collaboration with the Federal Government and Lagos State Police Command has been able to restore law and order in Apapa Wharf and its environs.
He assured that traffic gridlocks and unauthorised parking by drivers of tankers, trailers and trucks had become history, saying the state “is working with the federal government to ensure unhindered traffic flows in Apapa and its environs.”