By Babajide Okeowo
In a bid to ease the traffic gridlock in Apapa and its environs, the Federal Government has disclosed plans to connect the Tin Can Island Port, Lagos to the national rail line.
The Permanent Secretary, Federal Ministry of Transportation, Magdalene Ajani dropped this hint during a meeting she held with stakeholders including officials of the Federal Ministry of Works and Housing, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), Federal Road Safety Commission (FRSC), Seaport Terminal Operators Association of Nigeria (STOAN), truck owners and representatives of shipping companies.
“We have extended the rail from Ebute-Metta to Apapa because we want to solve this problem henceforth, and that construction is ongoing. We are also looking at the possibility of extending from Apapa to Tin Can so that most of these containers will get hooked on the rail at least straight to Ibadan dry port.
Ibadan dry port is already ongoing. We’ve had some discussions with Ogun State to say maybe we could put another dry port in Abeokuta. But these are things that people have to come in and do. Government can’t do everything. It is either the state or private investors that will need to do those” Ajani disclosed.
Recall that at the moment Tin Can Port, which is Nigeria’s second-busiest seaport, does not have a rail connection.
Cargo evacuation from the port has mostly been by road, while a few containers and imported vehicles are moved through the waterways by barges.
Recently, however, the evacuation of cargo from the port has been hampered due to severe gridlock on the port access roads. The gridlock is caused by poor road conditions and massive extortion of truck drivers by security officials deployed to manage traffic on the port access road.