”Apapa traffic gridlock now claiming lives of our members” — feight forwarders cry out

 

Abiola Seun     |       

A group of freight forwarders which styled itself as Concerned Freight Forwarders of Nigeria (CFFN), has lamented that the resurgent Apapa traffic gridlock has so far claimed the lives of three of its members in the last few days.

Following this tragic incident, the group has threatened to disrupt port activities if the government fails to find a lasting solution to the malignant crisis.

Speaking yesterday in Lagos, the Chairman of the group, Andy Omenogo disclosed that a member of the group died last week Friday and also lost another member on Saturday.

According to him, only three days ago, another member of the group slumped and died while in the traffic.

“On Friday, we lost a friend at Tin-Can Island Port. Then on Saturday too ,we lost another friend and colleague and only this past Monday another member collapsed and died while in the traffic’ he lamented.

The group blamed the death on the perennial traffic that has not only led to the loss of lives of its members but equally led to the loss of billions of Naira in business.

In the same vein, the Vice President of the Association of Nigerian Licensed Customs Agents (ANLCA), Mr. Kayode Farinto said that 40 per cent of members of the group now suffer from high blood pressure, saying that the country will continue to lose to the traffic situation if urgent steps were not taken to address the crisis.

Recalled that shipping operators in the Nigerian maritime sector have gone spiritual following the return of the Apapa gridlock on the main access road, the Ijora/Wharf road.

This is even as the operators stated that the Presidential Task Force on Apapa gridlock has failed in it’s effort to remedy the situation.

While addressing maritime journalists last week, President of the Nigerian Shipowners Association (NISA), Mallam Aminu Umar stated that with all the revenue generated in Apapa, coupled with the massive employment the port offers the country, he is shocked that for the past two weeks, the seaport has been under lockdown as motorists now spend close to four hours connecting the port and Ijora.

According to the NISA President, “I cannot tell you how many companies have had to close down because of the Apapa gridlock issue.

”Many have gone under because accessibility to their business for customers became an issue.

“These days, movement in and out of Apapa is getting unpredictable. All what has been achieved in the last few months by the Presidential Committee on Apapa gridlock, have vanished all of a sudden in the last two weeks.

“The Task Force was created to ensure there is no traffic gridlock in Apapa, but in the last two weeks, many of us have gone spiritual because the gridlock has come back more worse than what it used to be.

“If for the past two weeks, the Apapa traffic chaos is back, then to we operators, the Task Force has failed. It is either the Task Force is not doing it’s job or something bigger than the Task Force has happened, and made them unable to do their job”

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