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CCECC completes Apapa port link to Lagos-Ibadan railway



The China Civil Engineering Construction Corporation (CCECC) says the Lagos-Ibadan rail line has been fully connected to the Apapa port in Lagos.

The CCECC is the construction firm handling the over $1.6bn Lagos-Ibadan railway project currently on trial run and awaiting the official inauguration by President Muhammadu Buhari.

The Chinese firm said in a statement on Monday that the linking of the port to the rail track was completed on Monday, January 25, 2020.

It said, “On the morning of January 25, 2021, with the successful pouring of the last 25-metre monolithic track-bed superstructure of Apapa port break bulk line, the Lagos-Ibadan railway was officially connected to the Apapa port in Lagos,” the statement said.

“The Apapa port spur line of Lagos-Ibadan railway starts from the Mobolaji Johnson Station, Ebute Metta and extends southward to Apapa port, with a total length of 8.72km.

“As a crucial channel linking the main line of the Lagos-Ibadan railway to the port, it has become an important transportation passage for the import and export of goods and now serves as a significant guarantee with regard to the comprehensive operational efficiency of the railway.”

The idea of extending the new standard gauge rail line to the Apapa port was an addendum to the project. It is meant to ease the Apapa gridlock by taking containers in and out of the port using the rail.

A terminal operator, APTM had initially had issues with the contractor, CCEECC, preventing the latter from penetrating the port on the account that the work was impeding port activities.

The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, had to lead a high-powered government delegation to the spot and ordered the terminal operator to cooperate with the Chinese contractor to enable it to deliver the project in January for the inauguration.

He had said, “I have a meeting with Mr. President on Monday and it is at that meeting that we would fix any day in January for Mr. President to commission this project. That is not debatable and that is why we must ensure that this work is delivered before then.”

The message was echoed by the Managing Director of the Nigerian Ports Authority, Hadiza Bala Usman, as she told the APTM, “Why the minister is here is to enforce the presidential directive to get the rail tracks into Apapa. It is you that must build your operation round the construction work plan to ensure that your operations are not hindered and hampered by the construction of the standard gauge.

“The construction is of top priority to the government and all operators must ensure that we cooperate to get it done.”


Kano-Maradi rail project gets funds for rolling stock



The Federal Government has taken a major move to accelerate the construction of the first international rail line in Nigeria, the Kano-Maradi (Niger Republic) line, with funds approval for rolling stock needed for the project.

This came from the Federal Executive Council on Wednesday as it approved N453.90bn, part of which would be used for the procurement of rolling stock, operation and maintenance equipment for the standard gauge rail line currently under construction.

Minister of Transportation, Mu’azu Sambo, disclosed this in Abuja after this week’s FEC meeting chaired by the President Muhammadu Buhari.

The 248km rail line will run from Kano through cities such as Kazaure in Bauchi State, Daura and Mashi in Katsina State; Dutse in Jigawa State, the border town of Jibia, before terminating in Niger Republic’s trade and agricultural hub of Maradi.

The line has 15 stations along its path with an expected daily traffic of 9,364 passengers and about 3,000 metric tonnes of cargo.

Sambo said, “The memorandum sought council’s consideration and approval for the award of contract for the procurement of rolling stock, operation or maintenance equipment for the Kano-Maradi standard gauge rail line that is currently under construction.

“The contract was awarded to MSSRs Mota-Engil Nigeria Limited, who are the contractors handling this particular project in the sum of $984,722,302.5 inclusive of seven and a half per cent VAT with a completion period of four years.”

The minister also disclosed that the Transport ministry presented another memo on behalf of the Nigerian Ports Authority “for the award of contract for the construction and supply of four customised Fire Service search and rescue vans for extrication of accident victims for Rivers Ports in Port Harcourt, Lagos Port complex, Tincan Island Port and the Marina headquarters of the NPA, all in Lagos.

“Council considered the memorandum and approved the award of the contract as recommended and reviewed by the Bureau of Public Procurement in the sum of N510,934,600 inclusive of seven and a half percent VAT with a completion period of nine months in favour of Messrs All Works Commercial Company Limited.”

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Train accidents: Red rail line ready May 29 with five overpasses, says Sanwo-Olu



Lagos State Governor Babajide Sanwo-Olu says his administration will complete the construction of the Lagos Rail Mass Transit (LRMT), Red Line Project, before the end of his first term in office.

He said the line would have five overpasses to replace all level crossings along the route and avert train/vehicle collision.

Sanwo-Olu stated this on Tuesday after the inspection tour of the project that took him to Yaba and Ebute Meta axis of the state, where train stations and vehicular bridges overpass are sited.

He said the train stations were 75 to 80 per cent completed and while overpass was 95 per cent completed.

He said the state government was working with all the stakeholders, most especially the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) to complete the project.

Five overpasses

He said the project at different stages of completion would have five overpasses, to be located at Oyingbo, Yaba, Mushin to Onipanu, and Ikeja, to forestall train-vehicle accidents and reduce travel time for Lagosians.

The governor said the state government was particularly discussing with the NRC in the area of train signalling, adding that there was a need to “harmonize the signalization between our rail infrastructure and the Nigerian Railway Corporation rail infrastructure.”

He also said, “All the vehicular overpass bridges are very important because of the unfortunate train and bus accident that we saw a few weeks ago at Shogunle.”

Sanwo-Olu said the two train stations on the axis were at various advance stages of completion and expressed satisfaction with the level of work on the Redline rail project and on the stretch of Ebute-Meta to Agbado.

The governor said when the project is completed, the unfortunate train accident which claimed lives at the PWD rail crossing could be averted considering the design of the ongoing modern red line project.

He said, “You have seen the train stations, especially the Yaba and Oyingbo train stations. We started at Yaba and we also have a vehicular bridge overpass. With the train station we believe we are about 75 to 80 per cent complete and with the bridge it’s about 90 to 95 per cent but the adjoining road to Yaba would be cleaned up.”

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Lagos, other states get green light to run railways, generate power



State governments can now build and run railway systems independently.

This became a reality on Friday after President Muhammadu Buhari signed the amended railway bill into a law.

With the President’s assent, the amended Railway Act has been moved from exclusive legislative list to concurrent.

Senator Babajide Omoworare, Senior Special Assistant to the President on National Assembly Matters (Senate), in a statement confirmed the development.

It was one of the 16 Constitution Amendment Bills the President signed into law.

It also includes granting state houses of assembly constitutional financial independence and power to license, generate, transmit and distribute electricity.

The signing of the amended railway act is coming barely a month after Lagos State Government inaugurated its first mass transit light train codenamed Blue Rail.

Incidentally, Buhari was given the opportunity to launch the completed new rail project.

The line is currently being test-run by the Lagos Metropolitan Area Transport Authority for members of the public.

LAMATA could however not commence commercial operations of the Blue Rail before now because of the legislative encumbrance.

The state government plans to build seven rail lines linking different parts of the state over a period of time.

Some other state governments have indicated interest to start rail projects.

The Federal Capital Territory Authority’s undertaken rail project can now be operated independently.

Now that the bills have been assented to, and have become Acts of Parliament, the next step is the gazetting. This is the process by which the assented Acts are published in the Official Gazette of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.

He said other bills are to enable states generate, transmit, and distribute electricity in areas covered by the national grid; and for related matters.

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