Mr Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation, has ordered the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) to re-evaluate its existing assets at the Apapa Ports, to create space for the proposed Apapa rail station.
Amaechi gave the order on Saturday while inspecting the site for the proposed station, which is part of the ongoing Lagos-Ibadan standard gauge rail project in Lagos.
According to him, after inspecting the site, the railway property at Apapa actually calls for an audit, to know which of the property is still on lease, as well as those whose lease had expired.
Speaking on issues hindering the use of rail to transport cargo to the Apapa port, the minister said only the standard gauge lines could be used to increase the volume of cargo that could be transported daily.
“We have yet to construct the standard gauge, and until that happens, you can’t move enough cargo.
“Currently, I hear we are moving about 200 to 300 thousand tonnes of cargo yearly. We need to make sure that the tracks are functioning properly to enable us to be able to move more cargo,’’ he said.
The minister said that the ongoing work would lead to demolition of Jibowu and Costain bridges, but that will be after completion of the construction work.
“There are two bridges we are going to demolish in Lagos; one is at Jibowu and the other is at Costain. But we have to finish construction before we demolish, because Lagos is such a heavy economy that if you demolish without first of all constructing the alternative bridges, you cause serious crisis with the traffic.
“So, we will first finish construction before we demolish the Jibowu Bridge. They have commenced with Costain; when they finish with the construction and get the traffic relieved, then we demolish the old bridges,’’ he said.
Also speaking, the Managing Director of NRC, Mr Fidet Okhiria, said that the Apapa station would be completed within seven months.