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Rail contractor commences linkage of rail to Lagos ports

Maureen Ogbuokiri

Contractors under the China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation have commenced work of extending the rail to the Lagos ports.

Sunday Telegraph learnt that the work has begun in ENL Consortium, operator of Terminals C and D of the Lagos Port Complex Apapa.

It was however disclosed that the construction process did not affect port operations nor APM Terminals as widely purported in the media.

This is as several online platforms had alleged that the contractor for the rail project blocked Apapa port terminal on Wednesday, thereby demolishing the exit gate operated by APM Terminals.

A member of the National Council of Managing Directors of Licensed Customs Agents at the port, Ebenezer Kola said a demolition occurred at ENL Terminals but never stretched to APMT.

He said, “I have a little idea of what went on. It affected the ENL gate. The access where the agents can process their document from the ports office. There is a kind of entrance linked to ENL. That area was demolished but it is the other side that was barricaded. It is an entrance where agents gain entrance to process their documents. After they demolish it, they want to link it up with the rail so that any container coming from overseas will have free access.”

When Anthony Oji, the Security Supervisor of APMT, at the Customer Service Office was probed, he said none of APMT properties were demolished

He said, “I have spoken to one of the bosses here who said nothing of such happened here.” He directed our correspondent to the White House of APMT to get more details. On getting there, our correspondent could not get any headway with access to entry refused.

Speaking to Sola, a freight forwarder who visited the APMT office, he said nothing happened.

He said, “I do not know about that. There was nothing as such yesterday. I worked here and left here 6:30pm and there was no network issues of any sort.”

Legal Adviser to ENL Consortium, Uzamot Boye confirmed that construction work has begun in the terminal but that did not affect port operations as reported.

He said, “I am not aware,” when asked if port operations were affected.

It was on Thursday widely reported that APM Terminals had its structures demolished to the extent that  importers and clearing agents were unable to conclude their transactions while loaded trucks were unable to exit the terminal.

It also said that the demolition compounded the Apapa gridlocks as trucks piled up on the port access road. Port operations however went on smoothly as our correspondent moved around the ports on Thursday.

As at the time of filing this report, the Public Relations Officer of the Nigerian Railway Corporation failed to comment, diverting our correspondent to CCECC over the matter.

Meanwhile, the Federal Government has restated its commitment to ensuring that all the nation’s seaports are connected to the rail network in line with its new transport policy framework.

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