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Hadiza Bala Usman, the managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), says there will be no more approvals for tank farms in Apapa, Lagos, as part of plans to de-congest the axis.

Apapa has experienced chronic traffic gridlock for over 10 years, mostly because of the building of the so-called tank farms — depots for imported fuel where marketers come to load their tanks.

Usman, speaking on Tuesday after a government-private sector meeting on how to resolve the Apapa traffic gridlock, also revealed that all empty containers will be taken to holding bay as part of the new measures.

“We have noted that there is a need to move empty containers out of that location,” she said.

“So we have received clear directives that all empty containers need to be taken to holding bay. Shipping companies cannot have port locations within the ports any more, so that will free a lot of traffic within the area.

“We have also noted the need for all tank farm owners to comply with the utilisation of holding bays. No more approvals of tank farms will be permitted within the Apapa area any longer.

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“There is also full commitment of Dangote to complete the reconstruction of Apapa Wharf Road by June 2018, but palliative works will commence within the immediate period for Tin Can Island.

“There is a decisive effort by the vice-president giving clear directives on the need for us to conclude on reconstruction, the trailer park on Tin Can Island will also be reconstructed within three months, so that we can have access to holding bays and trailer parks.

“The NPA is also licensing access to the trailer parks and port allocations. We are issuing advertisements seeking for expression of interest of fro the private sector to operate some trailer parks and holding bays within the Tin Can Island area.

“We are embarking on that within the shortest period and we appeal to the exporters to work with us in traffic management, we are instituting strong task force that will manage the traffic inflow and outflow within the Apapa and Tin Can Island environ.

“This is an emergency for us and that is why we are here today to address these issues. We have seen the commitment from the Ministry of Works and the NPA will give support in anyway we can.”

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