Chairman of the Presidential Task Force on Decongestion of Lagos ports access roads- Comrade Kayode Opeifa has said his team’s mandate is not to control traffic but help to put in place structures that will make the Apapa traffic gridlock disappear.
He claimed that his task force has not failed in its mandate and denied involvement in bribe allegations, noting that he has concluded his assignment. He traced the root cause of the ports roads crisis to the 2006 ports concession and accused container terminals of generating the gridlock from within their premises.
Opeifa who was the guest speaker at the one-day seminar with a theme “Sustainability Of The Lagos Ports Access Roads Decongestion: Lasting Solutions, organised by the League Of Maritime Editors, held at Rockview Hotel, Apapa.
The PTF boss also accused the media of bias in its reportage of the port roads crisis, and alleged collusion between reporters and those he described as ‘corruption fighting back’ of inciting Nigerians against the government on the state of the ports access roads.
He said, “PTF has not failed, journalists don’t know the job given to us to do, we are here to do certain things, not to control traffic. Traffic management is the responsibility of the Lagos State Government. The Nigerian Navy also has no role in traffic except during a war situation.
“Traffic on the roads is not the trailers and trucks you see, they are not happy being there. The terminal operators are the cause, they are not operating the ports the way they should. The 2006 ports privatization destroyed our ports. They were sold to individuals, not institutions, and you can’t get any meaningful adjustments done because these ports are owned by political leaders. It is so bad we cannot talk to terminal operators; the real owners will pull strings.
“Most of the gridlock you are seeing is from the terminals, the container terminals. If you go there you will see containers and trucks blocking everywhere. The terminal operators have no parking bays. If we must move forward all terminals should be audited and the concession reviewed.
“People say we collect bribes, it is not us. We have these corruption fighting back elements, individuals who wear singlet and extort people in the name of the task force, it is not us. Our problem is that everybody is a solution finder; we have submitted a 30-Point solution report to the federal government. We have delivered our mandate since July; there is no gridlock in Apapa ports roads, the gridlocks are in the terminals.”
President of League, Mr Kingsley Anaroke in his opening address, said the task of tackling the ports traffic menace is a collective one, which involves active and genuine involvement of all relevant ministries, departments and agencies, MDAs.
“The manual Truck Call-Up System is crucial for the efficient management of traffic. There is need for all stakeholders, the Nigerian Ports Authority, Presidential Task Team on Ports Roads Decongestion, Terminal Operators etc to ensure it is rejigged and properly implemented in such a way that it would no longer cause friction between the parties.”
President of the Chartered Institute of Transport Administration, CIoTA, Dr Yusuf Jamoh in his intervention lamented that some of the industry’s critical policies are either obsolete or adversely opposed to national economic interests and therefore, are in need of review. He also argued that haphazard implementation of the enabling policies are also major constraints to growth and delivery efficiencies.
“We also need improvement and expansion of our infrastructure as the only sustainable solution to the problem of transportation and traffic gridlock at the ports. Above all, I think that this government has been able to muster the political will in carrying out some of the urgent corrections we have seen taking place.”

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