Four new locomotives were inaugurated at the Apapa port.
The Minister of Transport, Idris Umar, on Friday said that the Nigeria Railway Corporation, NRC, would receive additional 200 wagons by December to boost transportation in the country.
Mr. Umar said this while flagging-off and inaugurating four new locomotives and two telescopic cranes at the Apapa Port, Lagos.
The Minister, who was represented by Kawu Baraje, the corporation’s Board Chairman, said that the NRC was set to reclaim its lost glory as a catalyst for development in Nigeria.
He said that the corporation would collaborate with the customs and other security agents in order to ensure efficient business activities at the port.
Mr. Baraje, in his remarks, said that the completion of the rehabilitation of the Western line had made it possible for the corporation to introduce freight and passenger trains’ service.
“About one month ago, weekly Lagos-Kano intercity passenger train service was introduced to increase the number of services already provided. Today the corporation is flagging-off a container train service from Lagos to Kaduna and Kano. It is also inaugurating two newly acquired telescopic cranes and four 1800HP locomotive engines,” Mr. Baraje said.
The Managing Director of the corporation, Adeseyi Sijuwade, recalled that container train services in Nigeria were suspended 17 years ago due to poor infrastructure.
Mr. Sijuwade said that the acquisition of the facilities was part of Federal Government’s efforts to sustain the drive to transform the nation’s socio-economic development.
He said that the four locomotives were known as class 23 locomotives in the fleet of locomotives.
“The four new locomotives to be inaugurated are self loaded with on-board computer, double drivers’ panel, and fully air-conditioned cabins. The engine in each of the locomotives is Caterpillar’s 1800 model 3512B engine with capability of a design speed of 100kmph,” Mr. Sijuwade said.
He said that the NRC was now better equipped to deal with emergencies, with the two new 100 tons railway cranes.
In his solidarity speech, Comptroller of Customs at the port, Charles Edike, said that the inauguration of the container traffic train would help to stop the activities of miscreant at the port as well as enhance transaction of goods and services.
“An agent does not have to carry his papers to clear at the police, customs or NAFDAC. Any person can do his classification and business clearance through the portal in the computer. Except there is a mistake that is when the custom or any of the security agencies will look for that person,” Mr. Edike said.
He added that any goods that are prohibited would not be logged into the system because the computer will not allow that.
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