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Apapa gridlock: Hope rises for businesses as CCECC links rail to port

Chinese Civil Engineering and Civil Engineering Corporation (CCECC) said it has linked the standard gauge rail lines from the Ebutte Metta Junction yard into the Apapa port complex after months of protracted delays.

This has spurred hope of possible resolution of the intractable Apapa gridlock, as the rail line provides alternative to move tons of goods entering and exiting the Apapa port as against trucking, which at the moment, clog the road network around Apapa.

CCECC is the construction firm handling the over $1.6bn Lagos-Ibadan railway project currently on a trial run and awaiting the official inauguration by President Muhammadu Buhari.

CCECC said in a statement that the linking of the port to the rail track was completed on Monday, January 25, 2020.

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“On the morning of January 25, 2021, with the successful pouring of the last 25-metre monolithic track-bed superstructure of Apapa port breakbulk line, the Lagos-Ibadan railway was officially connected to the Apapa port in Lagos,” the statement said.

“The Apapa port spur line of Lagos-ibadan railway starts from the Mobolaji Johnson Station, Ebute Metta and extends southward to Apapa port, with a total length of 8.72km.

“As a crucial channel linking the mainline of the Lagos-Ibadan railway to the port, it has become an important transportation passage for the import and export of goods and now serves as a significant guarantee with regard to the comprehensive operational efficiency of the railway.”

The idea of extending the new standard gauge rail line to the Apapa port was an addendum to the project. It is meant to ease the Apapa gridlock by taking containers in and out of the port using the rail.

Businessday learnt that a terminal operator, APTM had initially had issues with the contractor, CCEECC, preventing the latter from penetrating the port on the account that the work was impeding port activities.

The challenges led the minister of transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, to lead a high-powered government delegation to the spot and ordered the terminal operator to cooperate with the Chinese contractor to enable it to deliver the project in January for the inauguration.

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