By; MATTHEW UKACHUNWA, Lagos
Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has agreed to demolish the old scanner centre that is obstructing the laying of standard gauge railway tracks into the Apapa seaport.
The demolition will be carried out within six months.
Minister of Transportation, Mr. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, disclosed this on Monday after the technical meeting with stakeholders on ways to resolve the challenges affecting the completion of the third standard gauge railway track that leads to Apapa seaport.
According to a statement issued by the transportation minister’s Media Assistant, Mrs. Taiye Elebiyo-Edeni, a decision was reached to create a temporary alternative route inside the port during the period of the demolition.
Elebiyo-Edeni reported that the inauguration of project would hold in spite of the delay in completion of the last track, adding that the two tracks that led to the Apapa port had already been completed.
“We have decided in the meeting that a temporary alternative route would be established inside the port while they start demolishing, after which the rail track will be laid and also a survey will be done under the water to find out about the cracks.
“We have also decided that the drainage should be expanded to accommodate more water to reduce the flood on the rail track. There are three tracks, only one track is not able to enter the port which will be resolved. They should be able to remove the Customs building in six months,” Amaechi said.
He said that carrying out freight operation directly from the port would reduce cost of doing business and increase government revenue.
It should be recollected that when the minister inspected the NCS structures that pose a barrier to the execution of railway modernization project at the port, he said that he would later, the same day, hold a meeting with experts and stakeholders on the matter.
The meeting took place at Chinese Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) office in Ebute Metta mega station where a decision was taken to demolish the obstructing Custom’s building.