Despite promising to commence evacuation of cargoes on the Lagos-Ibadan Train Service by the end of July, the plan is yet to materialise as the impediment is yet to be removed, Daily Trust can report.
The development is generating concerns over the under-utilisation of the railway project commissioned in June last year by President Muhammadu Buhari.
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While passenger service has since commenced, the rail line is yet to be fully linked with the seaport due to a radioactive scanner belonging to the Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) which is blocking the right of way.
“The demolition of the Customs Building is yet to commence and it is delaying our next step construction work,” a Deputy Managing Director of CCECC and the Project Manager, Mr Xia Lijun, said in a report recently.
Former Minister of State for Transportation, Senator Rukayyah Gbemisola Saraki, prior to her deployment to the Ministry of Mines and Steel Development, was on inspection to the port in Apapa where she promised that the linkage to the port would be completed by the end of July while cargo evacuation on the train service would commence immediately.
However, about two weeks after the inspection, she was redeployed while a new minister was appointed to head the ministry.
Our correspondent observed the customs building was still standing during a recent visit to the port despite a promise to remove the impediment and commence evacuation by July.
An official of the China Civil Engineering and Construction Corporation (CCECC) who spoke with our correspondent on the condition of anonymity told our correspondent that the track has been connected to the port but it could not be properly linked because of the impediment.
Our correspondent further observed that the Lagos-Ibadan train can now access the APM terminal but with a track, while other lines could not be linked due to the impediment.
The Minister of Transportation who was visiting Lagos for the first time last week said, “From the briefing I got from the Managing Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), there are just a few loose ends to tie in terms of logistics and that will take off after that.”