The business and public transportation dynamics are changing in Lagos, especially within and around Apapa, as the rehabilitation of the collapsed Ijora-Wharf road breaks through, after the Federal Government negotiated itself out of responsibility, and handed over to the private sector about a month ago.
A significant reduction in the number of private vehicles inward Apapa by road has been noticed, as many car owners now park their vehicles outside the port community, in places like the National Stadium, National Arts Theatre, and CMS, to seek alternative means of entering Apapa.
Several companies are also considering alternative facilities for their staff outside Apapa, in the fear that the road construction which is to last for one year, will seriously impact their businesses.
Already, a section of the Ijora-bound lane, from Airways bus stop towards Area ‘B’ Police Command, has been cordoned off, to allow heavy-duty machinery work on the drainage system, resulting in worsening traffic gridlocks inward Apapa.
The Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA) has yet to unveil a traffic management plan and alternative routes for motorists. Olawale Musa, the general manager of LASTMA said the agency was waiting for palliative work on roads within Apapa that will serve as alternative routes, to be completed before announcing the plan.
Commuters are increasingly turning to the waterway ferries, in their bid to escape debilitating traffic gridlock and redeem valued man-hours on the the Ijora-Apapa road. The Lagos State Waterways Authority (LASWA) confirmed to BusinessDay, an increase in state-wide monthly commuters on the waterways, from 1.5 to 2 million passengers.
With commercial motorcycle operators raising their fares to between N700 and N800 to lift commuters from the National Stadium in Surulere, or CMS, on Lagos Island, to Apapa, the ferries, charging N150 per trip have becomea cheaper and safer alternative.