By Afolabi Oyekunle.
Congestions of cargoes at the Apapa port will soon be history as the Federal government is determined to evacuate up to 90 cargoes everyday through the standard railway lines extended to the ports.
The good news was disclosed by the Minister of Transportation, Senator Saidu Alkali when he flagged of the maiden conveyance of containers lifting from the terminal in Apapa to Moniya, Ibadan Oyo state through the standard gauge.
The Minister who is in Lagos on official visit to the Nigerian Railway Corporation said the lines presently one will be increased to three when the Nigerian Customs removes its scanner building hindering the extension of two more tracks.
According to the minister, ” We have three trips for now and that amount to 90 containers in a day and by the time we complete the three tracks we will decongest Apapa port of 270 containers
The Minister said the beauty of the transportation by the standard railway gauge is that it will have impact in the transportation of cargoes and relieve transporters of huge costs by the road.
He promised that adequate security will be provided along the rail corridor as security firms are to be engaged to guarantee safety of lives and cargoes.
The Minister said the federal government will ensure that existing contracts are executed, adding that the vision of the present administration is to ensure that the transport sector is enhanced especially with the removal of the fuel subsidy so as to make the cost of transportation come down.
Meanwhile, the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) said it would start with three coaches per day as the Managing director Engineer Fidet Okhiria assured that the corporation has the capacity to scale up the numbers.
The Minister took time to visit Bola Ahmed Tinubu train station at Apapa commending the standard of the station and efforts of the Nigerian Railway Corporation.
At the locomotive factory in Kajola, he promised that the government will ensure that the factory produce quality materials to enhance efficiency and produce parts locally.
The Minister during his visit is expected to engage the Management of the Nigerian Railway Corporation in discussions towards ensuring better adequate services.
Executive Director, Buen Logistics, Mazi Jetson Nwankwo, said, “What we want to achieve under your regime is to decongest Apapa Ports and all the flyovers that have container trucks littering all over. By the time we move three trains a day, Lagos would be free for a good ride. We are happy this is happening under your tenure.”