The Senate Committee on Works on Friday advocated co-operation of various government agencies to find a lasting solution to gridlock in Apapa, Lagos State.
The committee, during an emergency meeting with stakeholders in Lagos as part of its oversight functions, condemned extortion of truck drivers and asked law enforcement and traffic regulatory agencies to investigate and punish erring officers.
It called for a multi-sector approach between the Nigerian Ports Authority, Nigeria Customs Service, and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency to give waivers to encourage the use of other Eastern ports to de-congest Apapa.
The committee appealed to truck driver unions to come together and increase areas where they could park their trucks while calling on NPA to speed up processes aimed at restoring order.
The committee summoned the Managing Director of the APM Terminal to appear before the National Assembly on Wednesday to resolve various concerns raised by stakeholders against the firm perceived to be part of the problem.
The committee directed that the Apapa Truck Park under construction be completed and handed over to NPA for use latest May 2 or May 3 which is Thursday or Friday next week.
Sen. Kabiru Gaya, Chairman, Senate Committee on Works, who led the delegation, said that in spite of various government interventions, “it is a shame to all of us in Nigeria that this gridlock should continue.”
The other lawmakers in the team which included Sen. Mao Ohuabunwa, Sen. Clifford Ordia and Sen. Barnabas Gemade, took turns to interact with various stakeholders on proffering final solutions to the Apapa gridlock.
After extensive deliberations, Gaya ruled that all forms of corruption causing the problems be nipped in the bud as the Buhari administration had zero tolerance for corrupt practices.
“We’ll set up a small committee within the next four days consisting of security agencies, customs, clearing agents and so on to give us a report within three days so that we can use that report and also implement that report.
“Because I know that the President, Vice President and everybody is concerned about how best we can get out of this national embarrassment,” he said.