Lagos - Lagos State Governor, Babatunde Fashola, has lamented the abandonment of the Nigeria Railway Corporation Maintenance Yard Project.
Fashola, while inspecting the facility in Apapa, noted that the yard and its surroundings are overgrown with weed while the entire area, including abandoned and decaying coaches, had been turned into living hovels by people.
He reiterated his call for the revival of the rail transportation as the most viable means of transporting heavy cargo, especially petroleum products, across the country.
Fielding questions from newsmen after the inspection, Fashola said he was at the site to evaluate the entire project with the purpose of resuscitating it.
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He said that the state government planned to make a comprehensive report to the Federal Government on what needed to be done in order to achieve this.
The governor, who was taken round the facility by Chairman, Lagos State Taskforce on the Environment and Special Offences (Enforcement) Unit, Adebayo Sulaiman, maintained that road transportation was not the best way to move cargo across the country.
He expressed regret that the Federal Government had turned its back on rail transportation preferring to continue to move petroleum products by road with the attendant hazards.
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“This is a project that we departed from as a people. This is the Nigerian Railway Corporation Maintenance Yard which also leads out of the Apapa Industrial Area. This is from where goods from Apapa were evacuated when I was a child. This is what the Federal Government has walked away from,” he said.
“We are trying to see how we can get it working again. We want to get the Federal Government to come back here and revamp it. We must do everything in our power to de-emphasize road haulage as means of transporting heavy cargo, especially petroleum products, across the country,” Fashola said.
The governor said revamping the railway at Apapa would not only reduce the enormous pressure on Lagos and Nigerian roads as a result of road haulage of cargo but would also create jobs for the scores of people currently idling around the facility and living under unhygienic conditions.
- CAJ News