The Transportation Minister, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi yesterday ordered the demolition of the Apapa rail station for an expansion to accommodate more activities in the seaport.
Amaechi gave the order while inspecting ongoing work on the rail project, adding that there was the need to pull down the present structures for easy access to the seaport to pick goods with rail.
“The quality of work is going very well. Both the track laying and field work are going well. The problem is Lagos. We have a problem in Lagos, Apapa to be precise. Not because there is work done in Apapa but because we are going to relocate one of the stations in Apapa.
“The problem with Lagos is the relocation of gas and oil pipelines. We will try and award the contract for the water pipelines because they have not finished the technical work for the relocation of the gas and oil pipelines. This is slowing down the activities of work in Lagos.
“At the last meeting in Ajaokuta or Warri, we insisted that they must have culverts in Lagos. We discovered that they just did four culverts but that is not enough.
“We believe that the task we have given them is going on well because the contract is in two phases. The first phase is the Ebute Meta to Ibadan and we believe that we should be able to complete that. The second phase is the Apapa sea port. If we are not able to complete that, we will start commercial activities from Ebute Meta to Ibadan, which is the original contract.
“It was this government that said all railways must terminate at seaports. For that one, if we finish on time, fine, if we don’t, we continue but work is progressing rapidly from Ebute Meta to Ibadan,” he said.
Speaking on the ongoing work on the bridges, Amaechi said, “The bridges have to be constructed first, then the tracks will flow. This is because one third of the construction is over the bridge. The project is designed for three years. We are the ones pushing the contractors to finish it in one year. I have always insisted that no matter the situation, we will begin commercial activities in Ibadan to Ebute Meta first.”