The minister of Transport, Rotimi Amaechi has said that the connection of standard gauge railway to seaports at Apapa, Lagos will enhance evacuation of 30 million tonnes of cargoes awaiting carriage yearly.
Currently, between 200,000 and 300,000 tonnes of cargoes are evacuated on narrow gauge railway line. The minister disclosed this at the weekend during the inspection of Ebute-Metta to Apapa axis of the ongoing construction of Lagos to Ibadan standard gauge railway project.
According to him, by December this year, when the standard gauge is expected to be connected to Apapa port, the current traffic grid lock caused by long queue of trucks awaiting to load cargoes will be a thing of the past.
The minister also said that structures and lands marked by the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) for demolition will only be demolished if lease agreements entered into with beneficiaries have expired adding that those whose lease period of agreement did not expire will be compensated before demolition of such structures.
Still on the rail project, he said China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation Nigeria Limited (CCECC) has laid 123 kilometers of track with a target to achieve156 kilometers of track laying to Ibadan by end of June this year, adding that by July, concentration will shift to connection of the Iju to Ebute-Metta Junction and Apapa axis with standard gauge railway lines.
He stated that Ebute-Metta Junction to Ibadan in terms of laying of tracks and civil works has reached 79 per cent completion even as construction of 21 bridges between Lagos and Ibadan has been completed.
Amaechi was, however, quick to add that the only thing outstanding will be construction of stations and installation of communication and signaling equipment which can only be done after completion of building railway stations.
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