- The Nigerian Government has begun the movement of containers from Apapa ports by Train
- The Minister of Transport, Saidu Alkali flagged the movement on Tuesday, September 12, 2023
- The movement would see about three trains with 30 wagons loading about 90 containers daily via the Lagos-Ibadan corridor
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The Minister of Transport, Saidu Alkali, on Tuesday, September 12, 2023, commissioned the movement of containers out of Apapa Port Terminals in Lagos.
The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) said about three trains of 30 wagons would be lifted from the ports daily to decongest them.
Buhari commissioned project two years ago
The development comes two years after former President Muhammadu Buhari Inaugurated the project.
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The railway spans about 157km with an extension to the Apapa Ports and has not been fully utilized due to hiccups, which stopped the complete linking to the Apapa Port quay.
Daily Trust reports that three ex-transport ministers, including Chibuike Amaechi, Gbemisola Saraki, and Muazu Sambo, could not fix the impediment despite several assurances.
The report said a radioactive scanning machine belonging to the Nigerian Customs Services (NCS) was meant to be evacuated to allow the track to function but was also stalled for two years.
Customs scanners causes delay in take-off
The move caused a temporary track diversion pending the scanner's removal.
The Chinese construction firm, China Civil Engineering Corporation (CCECC), raised concerns over the track's under-utilisation.
In 2021, the Deputy Managing Director and Project Manager of CCECC, Xia Lijun, said while passenger services have continued on the track, freight services are yet to commence.
Alkali flagged off the container movement facilitated by Buen Logistics at the APMT in Apapa.
According to reports, the Train loaded with 30 wagons took off to Ibadan, the terminal point of the Lagos to Ibadan train.
Oyetola decries abandoned cargoes at Nigerian ports
Per the minister, the freight would operate on a single track temporarily, pending the removal of the Customs scanner from the track.
The move follows the Lekki Deep Sea Port inspection by the Minister of Marine and Blue Economy, Gboyega Oyetola.
Oyetola, who inspected facilities at the port, commended the management of the Nigerian Ports Authority but decried the abandonment of about 6,000 cargoes at the ports.
Good news for Nigerian business owners as NPA takes strategic decision over maritime logistics
Legit.ng earlier reported that the managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Mohammed Bello Koko has reiterated the authority's unwavering commitment to partnering with and supporting private sector investors across the country.
Koko assured that the NPA through its partnership with the private sector will improve efficiency in the maritime logistics value chain.
He said this while leading the minister of transportation, Muazu Sambo to the Ijora Container Terminal on the sidelines of the minister's tour of Tincan and Apapa Port Complexes.