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Lost battles: Like Abuja-Kaduna highway, like Apapa Port access

Two critical road tests for the Federal Government; the insecurity on Abuja-Kaduna highway and articulated vehicular excesses on Apapa Port access road in Lagos are now becoming lost battles as far as many Nigerians are concerned.

On the Apapa Port access road, latest checks on the corridor showed that the presidential order on freeing the access roads may have failed as more than two months of the order and vice presidential visit, the situation has become worse.

From Mile 2 to Apapa Port has remained inaccessible while other entry and exit points from Ijora and Ajegunle are tales of woos.

Not up to one week ago, a fracas that occurred between the Lagos State Environmental taskforce and tanker/container drivers at Lilypond terminal claimed one life even as properties worth millions of naira were either damaged or razed. Besides, checks showed that the activities of Presidential taskforce on Apapa port access road may have been outrun by pressure from tanker owners and their drivers as earlier celebrated librated roads are now taken over by articulated vehiclies.

On the endless security fears over incessant cases of kidnapping along the Abuja-Kaduna highway, latest checks showed the unbearable insecurity on the road has forced thousands of passengers to start using the train, thus hiking the passenger volume on the railway by 270 per cent, the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, said that the increase in the Abuja-Kaduna railway service was due to the level of insecurity on the Abuja-Kaduna road.

“The actual number of passengers that the service can take for the sitting capacity is about 1,000 plus, but we are carrying 3,700 people daily. So if you add 10 coaches of 84 passengers per coach, you will know that we are under pressure. We know that when the coaches come and we make it more regular the pressure will be reduced.

Amaechi confessed openly that “The reason why we allowed standing on the Abuja-Kaduna train is the insecurity that has made it unbearable to insist on sitting.”