In order to quicken the evacuation of goods through the rail line from Apapa port terminals in Lagos to other parts of the country, the federal government has promised that the standard gauge rail track to the port terminals will be completed in July, 2022..
The Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Gbemisola Saraki, gave the assurance during her inspection of the rail track at Apapa recently.
The minister, who was in Lagos to inspect projects under her ministry, was at the Apapa port accompanied by the Managing Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation(NRC), Mr. Fidet Okhiria, top officials of the NRC, and the Project Manager of the China Civil Engineering Construction Company, Mr. Xia Lijun.
She said the Nigeria Customs Service Scanner Centre and whatever structures obstructing the rail track will be pulled down.
According to Saraki, “We are here to look at the issues affecting activities to connect the rail to the Apapa seaport. As you can see, the construction of this standard gauge has been ongoing for more than two years, and I came here to inspect the activities.
We want to ensure that before the end of next month, the activities here have improved. By the end of this month, we want to ensure that the removal of this Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) facility which is on the rail track is resolved. The goal is to have this track operational by the end of this month.”
She said though there are issues to be settled, upon her return to Abuja, officials from her ministry, the management of the NCS, and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) will meet to settle them.
She added: “Although this building looks big, it is actually a minor issue that will be resolved by the time the Federal Ministry of Transportation, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), and Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) seat together to discuss it.
“It has been agreed that the building is going to be demolished but the fact is that it is a radioactive facility. It is a scanner and we have to ensure that the demolition is done safely.
“The completion of the rail track will facilitate moving goods from the Apapa port through the standard gauge line to many parts of the country, thereby encouraging smooth transportation of goods from the port.”