… as security operatives support enforcement, deployment of new call-up system
Tuesday 28th May, 2019 – A Presidential directive was issued on Wednesday 22 nd May, directed towards the
immediate clearing up of the Apapa gridlock and the restoration of law and order to Apapa and its environs.
The directive mandated the immediate removal of all trucks from the bridges and roads within Apapa and all
adjoining streets leading into the Apapa axis.
Following the issuance of the directive, over 90% compliance has been recorded as the Nigerian Navy
command has handed over traffic enforcement duties to the head of the Police team in the new taskforce, and
a full team of 800 LASTMA & FRSC traffic management officials were deployed with 300 officers of the NPF providing security for the operation.
All roads and bridges leading into Apapa were cleared of trucks by
Saturday 25 th May 2019; and Eko Bridge, Carter Bridge, Stadium, Ijora, Costain, Orile Iganmu, Breweries, and
Oshodi Expressway were all cleared of articulated vehicles.
The implementation of the revised call-up system jointly developed by the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA), the
terminal operators and the truckers’ union also commenced over the weekend, resulting in single lane
movement for the free, unhindered flow of vehicles with legitimate business into the ports. A corridor was
also created for the movement of empty containers and exports directly from Lilypond into the ports, while all
empty container-laden trucks are being directed to 54 trailer parks, and non-compliant trucks are impounded
by LASTMA and NPF operatives.
Speaking on the progress of the operation, Dr Jumoke Oduwole, SSA to the President on Industry, Trade &
Investment/PEBEC Secretary stated: “We acknowledge the enormity of the assignment of the taskforce, and
we are all committed to resolving this issue in line with Mr. President’s directive.
“The sheer volume of trucks remains significant, therefore establishing a functional traffic management
system will be a work in progress. We applaud the efforts of the traffic and security agencies who have
ensured the recent steady progression of trucks towards the port, and all others who are collectively working
to implement a lasting solution.”
The directive was issued as the outcome of an emergency meeting convened and chaired by His Excellency,
the Vice President Prof. Yemi Osinbajo, SAN at the request of President Muhammadu Buhari. The meeting
sought to proffer lasting solutions to cleaning up the gridlock and decongesting the Lagos ports, as legacy
traffic congestion issues have continued to restrict operations in and around Apapa and its environs.
In attendance were key MDA heads and representatives from across the government, including the
Honourable Minister of Power, Works and Housing, Mr. Babatunde Raji Fashola; Inspector General of Police,
Mr. Mohammed Adamu; representative of the Chief of Naval Staff, Rear Admiral B.E.E Ibe-Enwo, Permanent
Secretary, Lagos State Ministry of Transportation, Dr Salaam Taiwo Olufemi, and NPA's Executive Director
Marine Operations, Dr. Sokonte Davies, among others."
At the meeting, issues highlighted as the root causes of the congestion were tackled with a view to achieving
immediate results. A Presidential Taskforce, to be chaired by His Excellency, Vice President Prof. Yemi
Osibanjo, was therefore commissioned to restore law and order to Apapa within 2 weeks of its inauguration.
The Taskforce, which will report directly to the Presidency, has its terms of reference to include developing an
efficient and effective management plan for the entire port area traffic including the cargo, fuel distribution
and business district traffic, enforcing the permanent removal of all trucks, and the development of an
effective manual truck call-up system pending the introduction of the electronic truck call-up system,
implementation of a workable empty container return and export container truck handling policy, amongst
Members of the taskforce include Mr. Kayode Opeifa, former commissioner of transport in Lagos State as the
Executive Vice Chairman, a representative of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC),
the NPA and the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), Nigerian Port Authority (NPA). Other members of the
Taskforce will include a special unit of the Nigeria Police Force led by a Commissioner of Police,
representatives of the Truck Transport Union, the Lagos State Government through LASTMA, and other
The Nigerian Navy and all other military formations were mandated to order the immediate
withdrawal of their personnel from traffic management duties in and around the Apapa axis, while military
and paramilitary checkpoints in front of the ports and environs are to be dismantled.
In addition, Lagos State Government’s LASTMA was authorised to move into Apapa as the lead traffic
management agency, while the NPA was to commence the immediate use of the Lilypond Terminal and Trailer
Park A as a truck transit park. The directive further mandated compliance by all security personnel and MDAs,
while heads of the NCS, NPA, the Federal Ministry of Power, Works and Housing (FMPW&H) and all other
security operatives are to be held accountable for their officers’ adherence.
It will be recalled that a technical session on the gridlock and call-up system reforms was hosted by the
Enabling Business Environment Secretariat of the PEBEC on the 16th of April, which re-engaged all
stakeholders and encouraged all agencies in the joint task force to work together to resolve the issue.