Nigerian ports need total overhauling, current state like a ‘madhouse’― Amaechi Rotimi
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The Honourable Minister of Transportation, Rt. Hon. Rotimi Amaechi has described Nigerian ports as a “madhouse”, stating that the ports need total overhauling.
Speaking during the routine inspection of the Lagos-Ibadan rail project on Sunday, Amaechi explained that construction works on the Kano-Kaduna section of the rail project will commence even without the expected Chinese loans.
The minister said: “I am impressed that we are coming to the end of the Lagos-Ibadan rail project, but there are minor things that need to be fixed, and they have promised us that they will fix it. So, we will be coming again one day to the commissioning to inspect the project.”
On protection of the massive public assets along the Lagos-Ibadan rail project from vandalization and pilfering, the minister explained that offenders caught vandalizing the project equipment should be arrested and prosecuted.
“I hope you know that the NRC has a whole Police department domiciled in it. In the Ministry of Transportation, there are two agencies that have Police departments domiciled in them; they are the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the NRC. We will deploy the police at all the stations and anybody caught will be prosecuted and charged to court. We have to be serious about protecting public assets,” the minister warned.
On the full connection of the port quay to the standard gauge rail project, the minister explained that the ports setting is the problem and not the tracks getting to the quay.
“For me, I think the problem is the arrangement of the ports. The whole place looks like a madhouse and needs total overhauling. However, we will come to that soon. As for getting to the quays, we are few metres from the quay already,” the minister assured.
On communities affected by the rail project through erosion and flooding, the minister explained that “I have directed that communities affected by the rail project activities through flooding and erosion should not be abandoned. I have directed that NRC officials go to these communities and see how we can attend to their problems.”
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