Lagos District Manager, Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Jerry Oche, says the corporation would increase freight trips between Apapa ports to other parts of the country from November.
Oche confirmed the development in an interview in Lagos on Thursday.
The manager said that the freight would be doubled from two trips to four trips daily to decongest the ports and reduced time of doing business in Lagos ports.
“We know that a lot of our customers are suffering to access the ports rights now.
“We supposed to have started running the Lagos Ibadan standard gauge but we have to go back to the drawing board again.
“We are supposed to resume as directed by Transport’s Minister, Rotimi Amaechi and NRC’s Managing Director of NRC, Fidel Okhiria in September.
“But something happens and we are trying to fine-tune those things.
“Right now all the tracks are available and what is delaying us is the stations.
“All the tracks are ready up to Apapa; we have to stop freights to Apapa because of station positioning.
“The contractor requested for two months to rehabilitate the narrow gauge that goes to Apapa and when we resume in November, we are going to increase the freight tempo to four,’’ Oche said.
He recalled that in the past, the number of people hanging on the train was more than the number of people inside the train.
The manager said that the district had resumed operation in September, adhering to the protocol set by Presidential Task Force (PTF) on COVID-19 by reducing passengers per coach to half capacity.
He also hinted on the plan to improve security in the train as restrictions are easing off, noting that NRC was at the moment, “only using the Man’O’War men as the security guard’’.