The Apapa-Yaba standard gauge rail in Nigeria, which was earlier delayed by the COVID-19 pandemic, is set to commence operations before the end of Q2 2021. This is according to Niyi Alli, the Director of Operations at Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), which is a state-owned enterprise with exclusive rights to operate railways in the West African country.
Running alongside the existing narrow-gauge line that has been functional from the Apapa Seaport to the NRC terminal at Yaba, this project is being implemented by the NRC and APM Terminals, an international container terminal operating company headquartered in The Hague, Netherlands, and a subsidiary of A.P.Moller-Maersk that operates one of the world’s most comprehensive port networks.
Expectations for the project
The Apapa-Yaba standard gauge rail is expected to aid the evacuation of cargoes from the ports, facilitate export, reduce gridlock on port access roads and curb the huge revenue losses to the bottlenecks at the ports.
Together with the existing narrow-gauge line, the Apapa-Yaba standard gauge rail will increase the efficiency of the delivery of goods from and to the port, and at the same time crash the prices of goods in the West African country.
The NRC is hoping to move approximately 500 containers on a daily basis when the project is completed.
Plan to reduce inefficiencies at terminals
Mr. Alli also explained that the NRC is working closely with the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) and the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) on a plan to reduce inefficiencies at terminals, part of which, he said, is to ensure that the trains leave the port an hour after arrival.
NSC is an agency of the Federal Government responsible for protecting exporters and importers in Nigeria as well as its goods, while NPA is a Federal Government Agency that governs and operates Ports in the West African country.