The Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association said on Saturday that the Federal Government should ensure that stringent measure were enforced in carrying out President Muhammadu Buhari’s order to clear trucks and tankers from Apapa/Port roads, in Lagos.
Timothy Olawale, Director-General of NECA, who fielded questions from journalists in Lagos, commended President Buhari on the order to evacuate Apapa-Port access road.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that the President on May 22 ordered the immediate removal of all trucks from the bridges and roads within Apapa within two weeks.
The Presidency said it had directed “operators of trucks and tankers to vacate the Port Access roads within 72 hours.”
According to Olawale, aside from the physical and psychological trauma experienced by individuals or organisations, the extent of man-hour loss could be enormous.
He said the deplorable situation had almost negated and rendered ineffective government’s effort at improving the ease of doing business in Nigeria.
Olawale said the Chairman of the Presidential Taskforce, Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, should bring his commitment to bear on the Apapa gridlock challenge.
”Resolving this mafia-like challenge will go a long way in returning Nigeria to the path of economic growth,” he said.
The director-general said the order was overdue as businesses, especially those using the ports for importation of raw materials go through untold hardship.
He said: ”Operators lose money through the charade and high level bottle-neck that has created a platform for corruption in the ports.
“The adverse effects of the lingering traffic and bad road within the Apapa/Tincan port axis cannot be over emphasised.”
Olawale said in spite of efforts by past government at various levels, there had been more of degeneration instead solution to the situation.
He said the deplorable state of infrastructure and unregulated activities of trucks and tanker drivers had forced companies to either close permanently or relocating from Apapa.
He advised the government to take stringent actions to ensure ease of clearing goods at the ports and build alternative truck parks.