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It was back to a forgotten nightmare for residents and motorists around Apapa last week as the axis became completely blocked and remained impregnable the whole week.

Reason: The return of  fuel tankers to the road  following the disruption of loading operation by the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) at its Ejigbo, Mosinmi and Ibadan depots.

The gridlock, which became  noticeable  on Tuesday, got worse  on Thursday, when there was a lock down of the  area. Motorists either abandoned their vehicles or trekked to their destinations.

Chidinma Nwoke was among this class. A journalist in one of the newspapers located in the area, Nwoke, said he had trekked to his office from Creek road, where he had to park his vehicle on Tuesday, but had resorted to parking at the National Theatre on Wednesday and Thursday, from where he picked a N1,000 motorcycle ride to his office.Another such worker who passed through such nightmare is Lucky Monday, who said he spent six hours in the traffic on Wednesday. “I’m not sure I would be able to continue like this if the situation persists in the coming week,” Monday, a sales clerk with one of the restaurants at Apapa, said.

Andrew Thomas, said the traffic jam was caused by petroleum tankers who moved back to the area to join articulated trailers and trucks which had to pick containerised cargoes from the Ports enroute other parts of the country. “Since Tuesday, the traffic jam has been terrible, and sometimes it is practically a standstill. “The last time we saw traffic like this was in July. This week, the petroleum tankers resurfaced, and since they reappeared, traffic has remained chaotic, and standstill,” Thomas disclosed on Friday.

Apapa has for three decades suffered the twin crisis of a deplorable road network and an over concentration of tank farms that has compounded the axis’ mandate as centre of commerce with the ports as the hub.

 

To make Apapa attractive as a centre of commerce, the perennial traffic gridlock  needed to be solved.

While tackling the deplorable road network may be one side of the coin, the other enduring side remains the return to the railway as the preferred cargo freight choice and the removal of the tank farms from the axis. Only these could bring back the sanity long lost in the area. Maybe if that is done, coming generation could have nostalgic recollection of scenic Apapa, almost lost to the chaotic noise of commerce.

source :The nation.