*Laments non-payment of Task Force
Lagos — The former Vice Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on the Restoration and Order on the port access road, Mr. Kayode Opeifa, has said that the problem of the Apapa traffic gridlock is caused by the human induced congestion inside the terminals.
Reacting to the recent complication of the traffic situation on the port access roads, Opeifa said that the terminal operators are making a kill from the gridlock as they make returns from demurrages that importers are forced to pay due to delayed return of empty containers.
Opeifa said that until the terminal operators change their acts and clear the backlog inside their terminals, the problem will continue to linger.
He however, claimed that the situation has improved, adding that the reconstruction of roads is ongoing while the system adopted by the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA, is working.
He opined that few trucks are being attended to now at the terminals, noting that the coming of barge operations also compounded the congestion.
He stated: ‘‘The problem is inside the port not on the road; the inefficiency inside the port; the port is not efficient, Customs is trying to survive, the terminal operators are making money from the mess.
‘‘The terminal operators are diverting attention from the parks; if I get to that place, in one week the whole gridlock will be cleared.
‘‘The electronic call-up system is working; but they are doing striping; the problem is the terminal operators and barge operators.
“The e-call-up is not the ultimate solution, there are so many issues but I think it will get better.”
Meanwhile, Opeifa has also lamented the non-payment of Police Officers that worked with him in the Task Force team despite the dissolution of the team by the Lagos State Government.
He said the team is still owing hotel bills and other miscellaneous expenses.