More facts have emerged on why the federal government has given deaf ears to the yearnings of Tincan port users over the poor state of the road.
Explaining issues in Lagos, the Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Fashola averred that the Federal Government lacked sufficient funds to repair the severely dilapidated roads leading into and out of the Apapa area.
Analysts’ say the poor state of the roads coupled with stretch of truck parking and the proliferation of tank farms have been responsible for the menacing gridlock that characterises the port city.
Fashola who made presentations at 2017 Women’s International Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) Nigeria summit in Lagos noted that the only option open to government in repairing the roads was to explore public private partnership.
According to him, “Although federal roads constitute 18 percent of the total road network, it accounts for about 90 percent of the freight coming from our seaport. Thus the need to improve and upgrade this road to our various seaports is very vital.
The Minister, represented by his Special Assistance, Technical Affairs, Kabiru Hamzat, said “It is clear that we cannot fix Nigerian roads with government balance sheet – it is not possible. So it must be Public Private Partnership and that is one of the things that are happening in the country now”.
However, a tour of the new truck bay showed that nothing is currently going there as weeds have taken over the massive space of land.
Fashola however, noted that the truck park being built by the Federal Government opposite the Tin Can Island Port Complex will be completed soon as work on it has reached an advance 96 per cent.
He said “As the gridlock increases around Apapa port, some of the things we are doing is the trailer park because we must be able to get the trailers off the road. A 340-trailer park at Apapa is about 96 percent completed. What is left is the shoreline protection because it was built facing the Apapa waters,” he said.