In line with the determination of the Federal Government to connect the ongoing Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge line to Apapa Port in Lagos, many terminals in the port are expected to be partly demolished, Daily Trust learnt on Friday.
This is just as the Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi confirmed that he would soon make a request to the Federal Executive Council (FEC) for the expected contract overrun.
The project being undertaken by the China Civil Engineering and Construction Company (CCECC) was awarded at a sum of $1.5bn to cover Lagos to Ibadan with extension to Apapa Port.
But many unforseen challenges have cropped up especially on the Lagos axis which have made the cost overrun inevitable among them is the relocation of oil and gas pipeline.
Also, the Apapa Port rail sidings which would connect the standard gauge to all the port terminals were estimated at 2.4 kilometers in the original contract but it has been discovered that the length of the sidings is now at about 6.4km.
Amaechi yesterday held an emergency Project Steering Committee meeting at the CCECC yard inside the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) headquarters with the NRC Managing Director, Engr. Fidet Okhiria, his counterpart in the Nigerian Port Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, among other stakeholders in attendance.
After the meeting which lasted about one hour, the team paid an inspection visit to Apapa Port terminals to ascertain areas which might give way for the seamless connection of the rail line to all the terminals.
Some of the terminals to be affected are APMT, the largest terminal in the port; ENL Consortium Terminal, among others.
Amaechi who spoke with newsmen at the port said he had given two weeks to the technical team to determine parts of the warehouses within the terminals which would give way for the rail to come in.
He assured that this would be done in such away that the port operations would not be disrupted.
“The port services would be on. There are areas where they need to work. What is important is that we must get the rail into the port to ease the congestion that we are having currently. We give them two weeks to do their work”, he said.
Also speaking the NPA MD explained that there are areas where government would take over “for overriding public interest.”
However, she assured that necessary compensation would be paid to terminal operators whose warehouses would be partly demolished.
Usman reiterated that the necessary rehabilitation would be carried out at the key sides where ships usually berth to increase their weight and capacity to accommodate the standard gauge rail.
She said, “We are going to have another meeting in a fortnight where we will determine the increase in scope that the project will have in view of this visit because this visit has expanded the scope to ensure that for example we are going to cover GNLD terminal, we are going to look at expanding to Eko Support, we are also going to look at providing direct key side and siding for PTML, that’s Flour Mill.
“All these aspects need to be computed and the number to be presented to the Hon. Minister and in turn he would make the necessary request for approval to the Federal Government.”