Fashola wants cargo moved from ports by rail

The Minster of Power, Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, has inspected ongoing rehabilitation of access road to Apapa and Tin Can Island ports in Lagos, calling for the movement of cargo across the country by rail in order to save the nation’s roads.

Fielding questions from journalists after the inspection of the project which included the construction of a new bridge running parallel to the existing one from Liverpool roundabout across Port Novo Creek, Fashola, who expressed dismay at the rate the roads and bridges are collapsing as a result of stress of cargoes on them by the tankers and trailers, warned that unless the trend is reversed, the transportation business would be adversely affected.

He said there was need for all stakeholders including government and all those in the transportation business, especially those in the trailer and tanker business moving cargo across the country, to agree on reverting to the rail transportation as means of moving heavy cargo in order to save the roads.

Recalling that he had in the past suggested to the drivers of articulated vehicles moving heavy cargos to begin to think of alternative means, seeing the damage they cause on the roads, Fashola pointed out that if this was not done in time, the roads may collapse and so would their business.

“So in the same way they import trailers to move their cargo, they can begin to make arrangements to import wagons. We must all agree that this is the way to go. I am convinced that this is the way to go for the future. We must all agree because this is not sustainable,” he said.

Fashola suggested that instead of building and reconstructing the rail-lines, the same containers and tankers could be configured to run on tracks adding that the present administration was now moving cattle by rail from the North to Lagos and that, according to him, is how it should go to save the roads.

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