The Chief Executive Officer of the Lagos State Traffic Management Authority (LASTMA), Mr. Chris Olakpe, says the company is up to the task of handling the persistent gridlock in the Lagos metropolis.
Lagos residents are currently groaning daily and questioning the ability of LASTMA, the Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), the police and other agencies to tackle the persistent gridlocks on various roads.
Apapa, Costain, Eko Bridge, Ijora Causeway and other areas of the city have been on traffic lockdown for years and interventions of LASTMA and the other agencies have had little effect.
The Apapa gridlock took a turn for the worse this year with articulated vehicles parking permanently on bridges in a bid to get to Lagos ports.
The gridlock has virtually affected every area of Lagos, due to what observers describe as the inability of LASTMA to enforce traffic rules on the roads.
The development has made commuting in Lagos, Nigeria’s economic hub to become a nightmare in recent years, compounded by bad roads and refuse heaps littering parts of the metropolis
But in the words of Olakpe: “We are on top of the situation. We are working round the clock and doing our best to bring the gridlock under control.’’
He claimed that traffic in Apapa was smooth in the past two days, blaming a downpour for the latest log-jam at Costain Roundabout, Funsho Williams Way, Eric More Road, Moshood Abiola Way and the Ijora axis.
“We have deployed patrol vehicles and more of our officers there and l believe they are doing their best.
“Patience is the keyword motorists need because construction work is going on and the problem of the articulated vehicle drivers is there.
“More patrol officers will be sent there but all LASTMA officers cannot be there. We are working round the metropolis,” he said.
The Lagos State Commander of the FRSC, Mr. Fidelis Omeje, also told NAN that the solution to the persistent was for motorists to obey traffic managers in the Apapa area.
Omeje said that motorists needed patience and should not be driving against traffic.
Many motorists, especially commercial vehicle drivers, motorcyclists and military men have been driving against traffic, despite the presence of LASTMA officials on Lagos roads.