Chinazor Megbolu |
The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has halted the movement of containers by rail at Apapa ports.
The suspension, according to the Federal government agency, will last for a period of two months with effect from Tuesday, September 15, 2020.
The Lagos Railway District Manager, Mr. Jerry Oche, in a report, hinted that the suspension of the rail service is to pave way for the resumption of laying of tracks on the ongoing standard gauge rail project.
He explained further that the period would also enable the contractor to meet up the December deadline to complete the project.
According to Oche; “we have to stop the operation on Tuesday to enable our contractor handling the standard gauge to have access to the whole line because they are trying to meet the December handover date.
“They are also expected to rehabilitate the old narrow gauge and work on the new narrow gauge, the one entering the port and if we continue to run trains , that will be difficult.
“So we are stopping rail cargo evacuation for two months beginning tomorrow (today). We hope to resume November 14.
“The idea is for us to get a better service by the time we resume and the only way for us to get that is for us to shut down now.
“By the time we will be resuming, we expect to get a rehabilitated narrow gauge as well as a brand new standard gauge all entering the port.
“Even if the standard gauge is not ready, definitely the narrow gauge is not going to be in the same condition we are leaving it now. It will be in a better form and issues of accident and derailment will be a thing of the past. So it is a sacrifice we all have to make”.
He, however, noted the organisation facilitated about 13 trips of import, export, and return empty containers at the Lagos Port Complex Apapa from September 1 to 13, 2020
© 2020, maritimemag. All rights reserved.