Apapa: Road users not swayed by temporary respite

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Apapa, the headquarters of traffic congestion in Nigeria, has in the last 72 hours been largely free and motorists within this period have had pleasurable, unencumbered ride to the port city. Given the daily unpleasant traffic experience on Apapa roads and bridges, the gridlock free experience of the last three days calls for celebration, but in the opinion of residents, business owners, port operators, and sundry visitors to this once revered city, it is too early to clap.

“We have seen gridlock-free Apapa roads and bridges before. Personally, I am not thrilled by what I have seen in the last 72 hours, which seems to be a make-up for the failed 72-hour presidential ultimatum for the trucks to vacate the roads and bridges,” Emma Ameke, a port worker, told BusinessDay on nThursday. “Again, don’t forget that two of these three days were public holidays when there were no activities at the ports. If there is any day to clap for, it is just Thursday,” Ameke said.

But in all of this, what is important now is that there is respite here for motorists and even commuters. Anybody who was part of the last week Friday ‘night-vigil’ on all routes to Apapa would appreciate and celebrate even one day that he or she either drives or commutes to this port city without sweat. It is not yet clear what could be responsible for the fragile respite, which is almost total as there are no trucks at all on both Ijora and Eko bridges.

But our findings reveal that truck owners have committed to co-operating with the new presidential task force by taking their trucks off the roads. Remi Ogungbemi, chairman, Association of Maritime Truck Owners (AMARTO), had explained to BusinessDay that part of the reasons for … Read More...

NECA sets 2nd term agenda for Buhari ahead of swearing in

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Nigeria Employers’ Consultative Association (NECA) says President Muhammadu Buhari will need to prioritise policies directed at strengthening the productive sector of the economy where lies the potential to create jobs and reduce the country’s frightening unemployment rate.
Buhari is to take an oath of office on Wednesday, May 29, 2019, for the second term of four years that will lapse on May 29, 2023. His first four years have seen Nigeria struggling with compounding economic woes.
Figures from the National Bureau of Statistics (NBS) show that youth unemployment rate averaged 23.63 percent from 2014 until 2018, reaching an all-time high of 38 percent in the second quarter of 2018, with millions of the citizens continuing to fall below the poverty line.
Timothy Olawale, director-general of NECA, in a document titled “NECA’s Agenda for Government,” made available to BusinessDay on Monday, said the real sector in the last four years had struggled against burdensome taxation, poor access to funding, regulatory insensitivity, even as interventions by the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) did little to strengthen to the sector.
He said “among the urgent support needed by the real sector is access to single digit capital, a business-friendly exchange rate regime, policy to ensure the patronage of made-in-Nigeria goods, concerted efforts at curbing smuggling and associated activities, bail-outs and corporate tax incentives that will enable the expansion of local businesses, enforcement of harmonised taxes and levies by the Joint Tax Board at all levels of government.”
The employers’ body also pointed to the need for the government in its second term to build infrastructure as critical enabler of development. It called on the government to take urgent steps towards the completion of the Apapa Ports road, the Agbara Industrial Estate road and other strategic roads across Read More...