The Nigeria Railway Corporation (NRC) said it has commenced the transportation of containers from Apapa Port to Ebute Metta Junction (EBJ).
The initiative, which will fully roll off in October, is meant to ease traffic jam at the Apapa Port and its environs.
Because the corporation does not have enough space, it would not encourage the delicate issue of demurrage, as each person would be given just two hours to clear their load, adding that anyone who fails to do so would be black listed.
NRC’s Director of Operations Mr Niyi Alli, who briefed newsmen on the development, said already the corporation is inundated with requests by freight forwarders and importers ready to patronise the service.
He also disclosed that the corporation is working with the state government especially the Lagos State Traffic Management Agency (LASTMA), to ensure effective management of traffic along Murtala Muhammed Way in Ebute Metta, to prevent the transference of traffic congestion from Apapa to Ebute Metta.
Alli said the containers will be moved by dedicated train to the district office at Ebute Metta.
He said: “We have started container shuttle services. We intend to run a number of dedicated trains into the port and bring out containers to Ebute Metta with the intention to help decongest the ports.
“When the initiative finally comes on stream, we shall be running about three trains a day, each carrying about 20, 40 feet containers just to relieve the congestion at the port. This was done by NRC initiative to bring succour to Lagos residents.
“The corporation has partnered with some stakeholders and organisations at the port to make it work effectively.”
Describing the new initiative as a pilot scheme, Alli said the corporation has plans to introduce similar bay at Ijoko, to serve importers in the Abeokuta, Sagamu and Agbara axis, and thereafter to Dagbolu, an Ibadan, Oyo State capital suburb.
“If we get it right here we will commence movement of containers to Abeokuta and Ibadan and other states within the country to prevent congestion in Apapa port,” he said.