Minister of Transport, Senator Idris Umar has hailed Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) for procuring more tank wagons for the haulage of petroleum products from the nation’s seaports, especially the ones situated in Lagos.
Umar spoke against the backdrop of the recent delivery and formal unveiling of tank wagons at Nigeria’s premier ports, Apapa Quay, Lagos.
The ceremony which was witnessed by several stakeholders marked the beginning of the use of tank wagons to evacuate petroleum products from Lagos Ports Complex (LPC), Apapa.
Describing it as a “bold step in the right direction”, Umar noted that the move will enable the federal government to give what he called “quality and value-added services” to the oil and gas industry.
The minister who was highly elated about the development noted that the procurement of the pressurised tank wagons would help ease traffic congestion, reduce accident and burden on Nigerian roads.
Apparently very pleased with the development, Umar said: “With these tanks, we will invariably take about 30 tankers per trip of the roads,” Umar, who performed the commissioning rite, said, adding that the Federal Executive Council (FEC) has approved an addendum for all the loop lines and sidings including links to the oil deports in Apapa”.
Continuing, the minister said: “In addition, an addendum has also been approved for the upgrade of signalling and telecommunications system for Kano and Lagos.
Let me therefore use this opportunity to restate the commitment of the federal government on the completion of the rehabilitation of the Eastern lines from Port Harcourt to Maiduguri. We are committed to bringing the train back on track in that corridor next year”.
THISDAY had reported that NRC had procured more tank wagons to ease the evacuation of petroleum products from the nation’s seaports into the hinterland. The tank wagons which were formally unveiled with fanfare attracted several dignitaries from far and near, with NRC Managing Director, Mr. Adeseyi Sijuwade, saying that the corporation would do more in the years ahead to address the ill that has plagued rail transport over the years.
According to him, the procurement of the tank wagons was just one of the measures put in place by the corporation to ensure that the rehabilitation of the railways across the country in line with the transformation agenda of the President Goodluck Jonathan’s administration is actualised in the transport sector of the economy.
He solicited for the support and co-operation of all stakeholders to ensure that the corporation achieve its set goals and objectives in the months ahead.
Besides the concessionaires, importers and freight forwarders, key industry players also attended the occasion which took place at Apapa Container Terminal (ACT), Lagos.