He discussed his plans to develop the Lekki and Badagry seaports to decongest the Apapa Port, redevelop the Lagos-Badagry Expressway and restore traffic sanity to the Apapa axis among others.
The governor told reporters that he was at the the Presidential Villa, Abuja, to brief the President on some steps being taken to develop the state.
Sanwo-Olu said that the reconstruction of the collapsed Lagos-Badagry Expressway will resume in the next two weeks.
He said: “From time to time, one must also see one’s boss. Today’s visit is essentially to brief him on the few initiatives that we are planning to do in Lagos and to get his buy-in and his concurrence.
“I cannot be able to speak specifically on the things we discussed but I can assure you that it bothers on areas around development for Lagos, areas around collaboration with the Federal Government that requires His Excellency’s approval and support, that is what I have come to brief him and it’s essentially to improve the quality of life and business devein Lagos.”
On the state of the Lagos/Badagry Highway, Sanwo-Olu said he visited the road two days after he assumed office and that machinery had been put in place to mobilise the contractor back to site by the end of this month.
He said that he had inspected the road twice since he assumed office, explaining that between this weekend and early next week, discussions with the contractor on the road would be concluded and work would commence in earnest.
Read also: Work begins on Lagos-Badagry road this month, says Sanwo-Olu
He said: “I was on that road two days after I was sworn-in and we’ve gone round. I’ve been there twice in about two weeks. So, the commitment we got was that the contractors would move to site before the end of this month and I am still relying that in the month of June, we should be closing out the discussions with the contractor over the weekend early next week.
“We are hoping that barely any unforeseen circumstance, they should be moving-in in another two to three weeks’ time, meaning that the clean-up and the construction of the Badagary Expressway returns back in earnest.”
On the decongestion of the Oshodi-Apapa Expressway, Sanwo-Olu said certain false claims circulating that he promised during the electioneering campaign to decongest the road within his first 60 days in office.
He said the promise was that his government would review previous activities on the road within 60 days.
The governor said he thanked the President for Federal Government’s intervention in the decongestion of the road.
Noting that the port operators were causing gridlock on the road, he said that it was actually the people of the state who bear the pains.
He also said that the reconstruction of the Oshodi-Apapa road has commenced even though it was yet to attain the level where it can be noticed.
The Vice Chairman of the Presidential Task Team on the clearing of gridlock in Apapa and the port area, Kayode Opeifa assured yesterday that the Apapa roads, especially the Tin Can axis, would be cleared of all obstructions by Friday.
The governor said that the reform being carried out by the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA) and stakeholders on the road involves an innovation termed “call-up”, which he described as a device prohibiting tanker drivers from leaving their parks, until they are called up.
He said: “The real construction of the road has started, but it’s not at the stage in which we can feel its full impact. That’s on one side. The movement of the tanker drivers has also started. There is Lilly Pond Terminal that has been created by the NPA and other operators which I imagined have started doing what we call the call-up system.
“What I understand by the call- up is that it’s a system that needs to be a bit more electronically driven. I think it’s currently run manually but if we can get a software that can enhance it and enforce it, the call-up system can become something to hold the tanker drivers accountable. If you’re not called on to come unto the port you are not meant to come.
“Now I understand that the shipping lines have given an extension for when they need to return the containers. So, what we have seen as part of the things that is causing the gridlock beyond the road not being in good shape, is that when you give somebody a one week order to take a container and return it within a week and all the containers have to be returned within that same week after which demurrage would start counting, so, everybody would want to enter the same narrow road at the same time.
“The Apapa port itself has grown beyond where it is now. That is why Lagos State is speaking with investors to see how we can develop either the Lekki Port or the Badagary Port as the long term alternative to the Apapa Port because that would be the permanent solution in terms of our growth as a nation.” he said
Opeifa said the Coconut axis will tomorrow be opened to traffic after the completion of ongoing repair on the collapsed section between Berger and Coconut.
Hinted on the activities of saboteurs on the Apapa axis, Opeifa urged the Presidency to direct all arms of the security forces, especially the Army and Navy to direct its officers and men to put a stop to their activities at the port access roads.
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