Commercial buses take over okada operations at Apapa port corridor
by ADAKU WALTER
Commercial buses have resurfaced along the newly constructed Apapa Oshodi Expressway, with passengers plying the Mile 2-Liverpool axis along Tin Can Island Port corridor.
The Trumpet, which monitored the development since the Lagos State Government’s ban of mo- torcycles on Wednesday, June 1, 2022, reports that a section of the road has been occupied by yellow buses (Danfo), mini buses and LT buses, which usually carries higher number of passengers.
The outward Apapa lane of the road under construction is currently occupied by tankers and container-laden trucks and although Okada riders were relatively visible along the corridor, commercial buses far outnumbered them.
Viable routes along the corridor by the transporters include the Mile 2-Second Gate Tin Can Island Port, Mile 2-Coconut, Mile 2-Liverpool and Mile 2-First Gate. A cross section of commuters who spoke with The Trumpet expressed sigh of relief over the development, even as they commended efforts of the transporters’ initiative at assisting passengers.
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They noted that the transport- ers’ initiative was timely, sequel to the recent ban of Okada in some part of Lagos State. A customs broker, who simply identified himself as Sunday Nwachukwu, noted that the replacement of commercial buses with Okada along the corridor was a welcome development, adding that it is safer, cheaper and less risky.
Nwachukwu said the transporters have provided assistance for most of the freight forwarders and other ancillary service providers in the shipping industry, pointing out that the ban of motorbike operators from major highways should be properly enforced and implemented.
On her part, Comrade Bolanle Adewole of the Nigeria Merchant Navy Officer and Water Transport Senior Association, applauded the Lagos State Governor, Babajide Sanwo-Olu for the ban on okada, adding that the transport hiccups in Apapa have been addressed with the intervention of commercial buses.
Adewole stated that issues of transportation within the corridors would reduce the risk of accidents. Another stakeholder in the maritime industry, Jerry Obadiah, called on road transport unions to ensure that motorbike operators should not be allowed to venture into commercial bus business for now.
Obadiah maintained that the era of going round within the Apapa-Ajegunle axis will become a thing of the past if relevant agencies properly carry out enforcement of the ban.