By DAPO OLAWUNI
Evacuation of cargoes by rail has been placed on hold since yesterday at the Apapa Port following the derailment of a Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) train at the Apapa Bulk Terminal Limited (ABTL), a subsidiary of Flour Mills Nigeria Limited
The incident, DAILY TREND NEWS gathered, occured around 3pm on Sunday and it is yet to be resolved as at press time. The derailment is said to have affected the evacuation of maize from the ABTL Terminal.
This is not the first time a train would be running Off-track inside the Apapa port, thereby affecting cargo evacuations, most times leading to huge losses for the terminal operators and importers.
There has been frequent rail derailments in the port, particularly at ABTL impacting their operations.
A reliable source confirmed that the derailment was as a result of the deplorable condition of the rail tracks.
“Same thing happened today and NRC staff have no equipment to rerail. Their narrow gauge tracks are in deplorable condition, causing frequent derailments, yet they took no steps to repair the tracks”
Confirming the development to our correspondent, Managing Director of ABTL, Capt Melvin Abe said “The train derailment has put maize loading on hold, up till now, there is no solution”
When he was contacted, Lagos District Manager of NRC, Mr Jerry Oche confirmed the derailment to DAILY TREND NEWS.
Oche to our correspondent that the wagons have since been rerailed, but that there is a broken rail on the track that still needs to be attended to.
Oche said “We have rerailed the wagons but there is a broken rail on the track that needs to be attended to this morning”
He assured that the NRC is working to ensure the situation is restored.
He explained that the frequent derailments are due to the peculiarity of the tracks at ABTL Terminal, he said the tracks are old.
“We maintain the track. The challenges are due to the peculiarity of the track in ABTL and age. That’s why we are bringing in the new standard gauge to the port and also rehabilitating the old narrow gauge as part of the Railway Modernisation” he said