The Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi, has urged the Management of APM Terminal at Apapa port to provide a right of way for the Chinese Civil Engineering Construction Corporation to finish the laying of the standard gauge track.
Amaechi said the job needed to be completed because Mr President is expected to commission the project in January 2021.
“It is to enhance and ease cargo gridlock in Lagos,” he said.
Amaechi spoke against the backdrop of an oversight inspection of the Lagos-Ibadan Standard gauge project in Lagos on Saturday.
Amaechi said that the commissioning of some terminals along the standard gauge line would not happen if the job is not completed.
” The job needs to be completed due to the fact that President Muhammadu Buhari, will be commissioning all the terminals along with the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge in January.
Amaechi laid emphasis on the urgent need of finding solutions to the constant gridlock along the ports area in Lagos.
“I have already informed Mr President that he will be commissioning the Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge railway in January.
“When we finish assessing what is on the ground, I will now approach Mr President on Monday, to give us a convenient date for commissioning.
“What is critical is that we must have a solution to the gridlock, the moment we start moving cargo from Lagos ports to Ibadan through rail, the road pressure in Lagos will reduce drastically.
In her remarks, the Managing Director, Nigeria Ports Authority (NPA), Ms Hadiza Bala-Usman, urged the Management of APM terminal to allow access for the agreed laying of the track.
“We need to be clear, it is not for you to decide, we understand that there is a need for you to continue operations and productivity in the industry.
“What is paramount is that those tracks must be laid within the time frame,” Bala-Usman said.
In his response, the Managing Director, APM Terminal, Mr Jon Poelma, said that they had created enough exit and right of way for the standard gauge construction into the port.
Poelma assured the government of giving necessary support to the contractor to enable them to achieve the time frame of the job.