Minister sets two-week completion deadline for Apapa-Ebute Meta rail project

THE Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Gbemisola Saraki, has set a two-week completion date for the connection of the Ebute Meta railtrack to the Apapa ports.

Saraki gave the deadline today during an inspection of the ongoing rail construction at the Apapa Port.

The minister was accompanied on the tour by the chairman, House Committee on Maritime Safety, Education and Administration, Linda Ikpeazu; the managing director,  Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Fidet Okhiria; the director-general, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Bashir Jamoh; the executive director (Finance and Administration), Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Adenrele Adesina; and the NPA executive director (Marine and Operations), Onari Brown.

Saraki said, “So far so good, by the end of this month which is another two weeks maximum, this track would be operational.”

She explained that her visit was to inspect the pace of work and fast-track it after getting regulatory approvals from port agencies, including the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS), noting that the construction of the standard gauge had been ongoing for more than two years.

She added that the Federal Ministry of Transportation would organise a tripartite meeting with the NPA and NCS on the demolition of the NCS scanner on the Apapa railway.



    Minister Construction workers at the Apapa port connecting rail line to Ebute Meta Junction
    Construction workers at the rail line connecting the Apapa port to the Ebute Meta Junction. Credit: Joseph Olaoluwa_The_ICIR

    The minister noted that the Customs facility beside the track had stalled the completion of the railway construction, and assured that a meeting would be slated soonest to address the problem.

    She said, “Even though the building looks big, it is a minor issue that will be resolved by the time the Federal Ministry of Transportation, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) sit together to discuss it.

    “It has been agreed that the building will be demolished. It is a scanner and we have to ensure that it is done safely because it is radioactive.”

    She enthused that the project would soon be completed so that people and cargo can ride directly without getting off the train to enter the ports.

    Experienced Business reporter seeking the truth and upholding justice. Covered capital markets, aviation, maritime, road and rail, as well as economy. Email tips to [email protected]. Follow on Twitter @theminentmuyiwa and on Instagram @Hollumuyiwah.

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