By Ngozi Onyeakusi



Following the lock down in Apapa area of Lagos State on account of the deplorable state of the ports access roads, commuters and maritime stakeholders have been advised to patronise water mode of transportation into the area.

Findings have revealed that water transport businesses have been thriving in the last three weeks as a result of the gridlock on the corridors linking the seaports.

Operators of commercial water transportation said that it is the only option for those who have businesses in Apapa since the closure of Wharf Road for commencement of construction begins this week.

A top ferry transport operator told our correspondent that the gridlock along the ports corridors have made stakeholders to patronise water means of transportation, adding that “since the cost remain the same, passengers find using ferries more convenient in commuting to Apapa”

“It will be advisable for port users and people who have business in Apapa to enter the community through the waterways because as we speak Apapa is a no go area.”

Speaking against the backdrop of the partial closure of Wharf Road for a year, the ferry top official stated that “the best option to access Apapa without stress is through the waterways”.

Similarly, a banker, Joshua Evakpor, noted that “over the last two months, I don’t have anything to do with land mode of transport into Apapa.

“Water transport has helped immensely and I think since the roads are in bad shape by the day, it is time for Lagosians and port users to have a rethink on how to access Apapa.”

Evakpor appealed to both the government and private sector to invest in water transportation in order to boost the potentials in the maritime space.

Also, Stephen Madu, an exporter called on the authorities to create more awareness for investors to explore potentials of waterways transportation.

Madu added that such moves would create massive job opportunities and people will not be subjected to undue stress when construction gets under way.

Shippers, agents and civil servants also affirmed that the partial closure of Wharf road may not affect movement inward and outward Apapa except trucks laden with goods that will leave the ports via the roads.