Lagos — The Minister of Transportation, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi has directed that the Apapa station be demolished and expanded in order to accommodate the activities at the Apapa seaport.
He said this, yesterday, after the inspection of the project in Lagos.
Amaechi said the idea is to pull down the existing structures, expand the station towards the seaport for easy access to ferry goods from the sea to the rail line and then to the town.
The Minister said: "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."
On the pace of work on the bridges, he 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."