The federal government has abandoned the recommendation of a technical committee it set up with the Lagos State Government in 2012 to end the diverse challenges threatening lives and businesses in Apapa.
Investigations by THISDAY revealed that the federal government’s negative response to the recommendation in 2012 has culminated in grave consequences two years after the technical committee completed its work.
The committee, which was co-chaired by the Deputy Governor, Mrs. Adejoke Orelope-Adefilure and the Coordinating Minister of the Economy and Minister of Finance, Dr. Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, came up with 12 recommendations directed at resolving the diverse challenges of the gridlock, environmental abuse and insecurity in Apapa.
The federal government was represented on the committee by Okonjo-Iweala, Minister of Works, Mr. Mike Onolememen, his former transport counterpart, Mr. Idris Umar and Chairman of the Ports Monitoring Committee, Mr. Sylvester Monye, while the state’s team included the deputy governor, Commissioner for the Environment, Mr. Tunji Bello and his transportation counterpart, Mr. Kayode Opeifa, among others.
THISDAY checks revealed that the technical committee properly sent its report to the National Economic Council (NEC) in the second quarter of the 2012 fiscal year for necessary action.
But since the report was sent to the NEC in June 2012, THISDAY learnt that the federal government has remained silent on the document which clearly identified areas of intervention by the two levels of government.
THISDAY gathered that the failure of the council to adopt and implement the recommendations of the technical committee aggravated the menace of gridlocks, environmental abuse and insecurity in Apapa and in its environs.
The committee identified the rehabilitation of bridges and roads, bio-remediation of the degraded areas, rehabilitation of abandoned trailer parks, dualisation of Wharf, Creek and Tincan roads, procurement of monitoring and heavy duty equipment, landscaping and beautification among others.
Apart from the dualisation of Wharf, Creek and Tincan roads, the committee put the total cost of the Apapa regeneration plan at N11.60 billion, which it said, would be borne by the federal and state governments.
The committee noted that the federal government would be responsible for 100 per cent of the capital expenditures; 50 per cent of recurrent expenditure and the state government only for 50 per cent of the recurrent expenditure, meaning that the former would bear 75 per cent of the total cost and the latter 25 per cent.
As contained in the 64-page report, the committee earmarked N100.45 million for rehabilitation of Kirikiri trailer park; N114.40 million for rehabilitation of drainages and culverts and N6.49 billion for the rehabilitation of roads (Creek, Wharf and Commercial) and Marine Beach service lane.
It also earmarked N56.50 million for bioremediation of degraded areas; N1.42 billion for public lighting solution; N2.11 billion for landscaping and beautification; N97 million for initial cost of clearing; N585.25 million for procurement of monitoring and heavy duty vehicles; N466.91 million for security personnel; N33.24 million for sanitisation of cleared areas and N108.95 million for wire mesh fencing.
The committee said: “It is proposed that the federal government will be responsible (100 per cent) for the initial capital expenditure and 50 per cent of the recurrent yearly, while the state government pays 50 per cent of the recurrent expenditure yearly. If approved, it means that the federal government will bear 75 per cent of the initial cost outlay, while the state bears 25 per cent.”
The committee noted that the state government bore the initial cost of N97 million, which it said, was spent to clear criminal hideouts; dismantle shanties and unlock gridlocks in April 2012.
The committee noted that the state government would bear 25 per cent of N694.20 million meant for the erection of fence wall, procurement of heavy duty equipment and other logistics and N38.90 million for monthly sustenance, which it put at N466.90 million for a period of 12 months period.
The committee, therefore, urged the parties “to take immediate actions on the execution of the Apapa Regeneration Plans as presented in the report in order to prevent business paralyses, loss of revenue accruable to the federal government, re-occupation of the cleared areas and forestall the re-emergence of the gridlock experienced on the access routes to Apapa ports among others.
“In 2012, heavy traffic was reduced by 70 percent immediately after the clean-up exercise. But the situation eventually returned with traffic bottle-neck particularly in the evening caused by tankers and trailers mainly as a result of the delay at the entrance of the ports and deplorable roads among others.”
It recommended that no trailer “will enter into Apapa through Ijora, henceforth. Road signs are to be erected immediately to re-direct traffic; provision of vehicle inspection terminals for clearance on road worthiness before the trailers can access the ports and the ports authority should ensure that trailers do not spend more than two minutes at the gate, since all the paper work have been done at the parks.
Other recommendations included: “Dedicated lanes for trucks going into the ports to be provided on Tincan access road.
But investigation revealed that most of the recommendations contained in the 64-page report of the technical committee were neither approved nor implemented by the National Economic Council.