The Presidency of the Federal Republic of Nigeria on Tuesday, May 24, 2019, in a series of tweets gave an update on the level of progress made to ensure compliance to its order. The Federal Government had initially directed the immediate removal of all trucks and trailers from bridges and roads within Apapa and all adjoining streets leading into Apapa.
The order was sent out on Wednesday, May 22, 2019, and it specifies the “immediate clearing up of the Apapa gridlock and the restoration of law and order to Apapa and its environs within two weeks”.
To keep citizens informed, the Presidency, using its verified twitter account (@NGRPresident), began what it called “UPDATE on Presidential Directive on the Evacuation of Trucks and Trailers off Lagos Bridges, Roads, Inner Streets and Free Access to Lagos Ports #ApapaOrder #Thread” at 8:46 AM on Tuesday.
From the tweets, BusinessDay gathered five claims that are worth fact-checking.
- The trucks and trailers are no longer on any part of Eko Bridge, from the Alaka entrance of the bridge in Surulere.
- The trucks and trailers are no longer on the Eko Bridge division to Ijora 7up at Costain axis.
- The trucks and trailers are no longer on the Eko Bridge division to Apapa at the Ijora Olopa, close to Iddo axis.
- The trucks and trailers at the Ijora Olopa axis of Iddo/Ijora Olopa road were moved to the National Theatre gate overlooking the Lagos State Water Corporation at Ijora Olopa.
- The entire Costain roundabout on Funsho Williams Avenue inward Iponri/Surulere and the Nigerian Breweries, Iganmu axis are completely devoid of parked trucks and trailers.
[BusinessDay visited the locations on Tuesday the 28th of May 2019 and followed up on Wednesday. It was observed that the five claims contain truths, half-truths and some outright falsehoods.]
BusinessDay got to the Alaka entrance of Eko Bridge in Surulere at 3:20 PM on Tuesday and discovered that there was no truck or trailer parked on the road from Alaka Junction to Eko Bridge division, as opposed to what used to be there. This caused free flow of traffic along the road. The situation remained the same on Wednesday.
However, while the road remained free to Eko Bridge division, trucks and trailers of different kinds were seen parked about 150 metres from the Eko Bridge division to Ijora 7up at Costain axis. This line of trucks and trailers terminated at the Police checkpoint at Ijora Junction, but continued 50 metres from the junction to Apapa port. No improvement was noticed on Wednesday; rather, the situation worsened.
Further checks by BusinessDay revealed that the Eko Bridge – starting from the Eko Bridge division to Marina – was not totally free of trucks and trailers as another set of trucks were seen lined up from the beginning of the road which diverts from Eko Bridge to Apapa at Ijora Olopa, close to Iddo axis, causing gridlock around Lagos State Water Corporation. This was despite the presence of officers of the Nigeria Police.
No truck or trailer was parked from Alaka Bus-stop to Costain roundabout through Funsho Williams Avenue. A similar trend was also observed from Costain roundabout to Nigerian Breweries (“under bridge”), and from Iganmu axis linking Apapa road.
However, heavy presence of trucks and trailers resurfaced 50 metres from Nigerian Breweries on Apapa road to the police checkpoint at Ijora Junction. This extended to Apapa port through 7up Bridge.
When BusinessDay re-visited Nigerian Breweries to Ijora Junction and also Eko Bridge division to Ijora Junction on Wednesday, there was no movement on the highways as there was heavy presence of trucks and trailers on both roads.
Based on these observations, the claim by the Presidency that the trucks and trailers are no longer on any part of Eko Bridge, from the Alaka entrance of the bridge in Surulere, is NOT ENTIRELY TRUE. While the claim that the trucks and trailers are no longer on the Eko Bridge division to Ijora 7up at Costain axis is FALSE.
This fact-check was done by a Dubawa Fact-checking Fellow in collaboration with BusinessDay, the leading medium for up-to-date news and insightful analysis of business, policy and the economy in Nigeria. To see this article and others, check out: https://businessday.ng/exclusives/article/fact-check-the-truths-half-truths-and-lies-in-fgs-claims-on-truck-evacuation-from-apapa-roads/