The Nigerian Customs Service (NCS) has been accused of obstructing cargoes’ evacuation by rail from the Lagos Port Complex, Apapa. The Deputy Managing Director of China Civil Engineering Construction Company (CCECC), Mr. Xia Lijun told the Joint National Assembly Committee on Land Transport during an oversight function that a customs building was sitting along the standard gauge rail track inside the APM Terminals in the last three years, saying that several efforts had been made to remove the building without success.
It was also learnt that some seizures were piled up on the rail tracks by NCS. Lijun noted: “We have five standard gauge rail and three narrow gauge rail lines all linked to the Apapa Port in Lagos. Despite connecting the port; we cannot move containers by rail on the standard gauge trains because there is a building belonging to the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) sitting on the rail track inside the APM Terminals. “We have made repeated efforts to remove that building but it has all been fruitless.
It’s now been three years since we have been asking that the Customs building should be removed, but nothing of such has been done. “Yes, we are moving passengers on the standard gauge rail, but the real money is in the movement of cargoes.
If we cannot move cargoes by standard gauge trains, then we are not breaking even when it comes to profit making.” Also, the Project Manager, Team Construction Company, Mrs Precious Ebare said during the oversight visit of the Senate committee that the Customs’ Long Room situated on the track was yet to be demolished. The Managing Director of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Engr. Fidet Okhiria, represented by his Director Operations, Mr Niyi Alli, said that the NRC management would have a meeting with the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) and the Nigeria Customs Service (NCS) to find solutions to the challenges at the Apapa Port.