It has emerged that the completion of laying of rail track for the connection of the Apapa Port complex to the main standard gauge connecting Lagos to Ibadan might be delayed for months as a result of new challenges not envisaged in the original design.
During an on the spot assessment of works on the Apapa end of the construction, Minister of Transportation, Rt Hon Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi declared that a new challenge has arisen stating “that If we have to work, we have to see what we are working on. All we came to do today is to see how we will fix the tracks to the quays. We are having problems with some port infrastructure that can either be removed or not to be removed.”
“There are three tracks that enters the port, but we are having issues with one of the rail tracks that has to pass through where the scanner is located. So, we are going to have a meeting to know how to go ahead with this. I won’t be making decisions at the meeting because I am just a policy implementor. I will allow the experts to come up with solutions that will guide our judgement in getting across this hurdle.
“We are working hard to find solutions, but we need expert advise to go ahead because these things are technical. We cannot commission if we don’t find a solution to these issues.”
“The second issue is that there are some cracks at the quays apron where we want to lay the tracks. We have come.today to inspect those cracks and we will decide after meeting with experts.”
He said, “luckily, the Customs has given us the go-ahead to remove them but their removal is proven a bit difficult. So we are going to the office now to discuss with experts on how to remove this infrastructures.”
On his part, Managing Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Engr. Fidet Okhiria, reiterated the need to extend the rail track to Apapa stating that “The essence of the rail is to move freight. So, we have to get to the port seaside meaningfully, not just getting to the port. This has to happen so that multiple handling of cargoes will be eradicated. Presently, trucks are paid to bring cargoes to the rail because the tracks have not reached the seaside inside the container terminal.