Apapa-Oshodi gridlock worsens as motorists, commuters stranded for hours –

Apapa-Oshodi gridlock worsens as motorists, commuters stranded for hours

By Steve Agbota

Traffic gridlock yesterday grounded all human and vehicular activities along Apapa-Oshodi Expressway, as commuters, motorists and other road users were stranded in traffic for several hours due to the menace of truckers and articulated vehicle operators who parked indiscriminately on the expressway.

Following the development, most impatient motorists resorted to driving against traffic to further aggravate the situation, even as several Customs Controllers opted to ride motorcycle (Okada) to their commands. Also, most commuters alighted from the commercial buses held up in the chaotic traffic to trek long distances to their various destinations.

The road from Ijesha bus stop to Berger Cement, along the Apapa-Oshodi Expressway was completely locked down due to planned reconstruction works planned for the route. The situation was worsened by lack of holding bay, truck parts, leaving motorists, residents, commuters and other road users with  untold hardship. 

Investigations by Daily Sun showed that the gridlock which eased off few weeks back resurfaced due to the massive extortion going by security personnel stationed on the road to manage the traffic. 

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Road users lamented that the gridlock has caused more havoc for them as robbers now taking advantage of the situation to dispossess them of their valuable items day and night.

A Customs officer who spoke on the condition of anonymity, blamed the situation on the slow space of ongoing road construction, adding that the gridlock has negatively affected their operations and revenue generation.

“On several occasions, we have to hire special Okada (bike) for our Area Customs Controller (CAC) before he could access our command. This is telling on our efficiency and operations because before getting here, we would have spent several hours in traffic. The situation is terrible my brother,” he lamented. 

A freight forwarder, Ezeanyangwu Okafor, said there has not been any respite on the road despite the e-call up system, which he said has become a money making venture for `people benefiting from the situation. According to him, the traffic situation is persisting due to poor access roads and failure of government to prevail on contractors handling the construction of the Apapa-Oshodi expressway to expedite action.

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He said: “there will be gridlock because the NPA electronic call up is just a nomenclature. The e -call-up system is a money-making venture for NPA and some people are benefiting from it. For each call up, trucks pay N10,000 but this is just the official money. They still part with some money being given to security operatives before they get to the port.”

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