Mr. Ismail Adebiyi, Railway District Manager, Northern District, Zaria, says several attempts made to convey empty containers from the Northern part of the country to Lagos through rail, were frustrated by operators of Kaduna, Kano Dry Ports, adding that there is no blockage or any impediment on Lagos-Kaduna rail line that might affect its operations.
Adebiyi told the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN), on Sunday in Zaria, that the track was also not an impediment to the Kaduna Dry Port.
He said that there was nothing wrong with freight trains which addressed the issue of accessibility from Lagos to Kaduna, adding that the dry pot was also accessible by rail.
According to him, the track is free from any form of blockage or impediment, adding that the Nigeria Railway Corporation is ready to carry containers and other goods for the dry port.
Adebiyi said the Corporation had reached out to key stakeholders on Kaduna Dry Port on the need to return their empty containers and other goods, lamenting that efforts did not yield positive result.
“Sometimes ago when the first pipe freight came to Zaria from Lagos, we approached AK Muller in Kano on whether they had empty containers for delivery to Lagos.
“They (AK Muller) said they had some issues to clear and up till now we have not heard from them.
“For every train that comes to Zaria, the wagons returned empty. There are times I put pressure on the dry pot manager in Kaduna and we did not get a positive response,” Adebiyi said.
He noted that one of the arguments of the dry port was for the Corporation to carry their containers at Lagos before they get containers from either Kaduna or Kano.
“The dry port ought to have perfected this arrangement with Corporation headquarters in Lagos.”
Commenting on the derailment of a freight wagon conveying pipes for Zaria water project in Kaduna on May 1, Adebiyi said the Corporation had addressed challenge within three days.
He added that during the recovery exercise an operation crane capsised, a challenge that was quickly addressed by the Corporation.
“The derailment exercise was finished within three days from the day of the accident. Since then, we have had about three freight trains from Lagos to Zaria and we did not record any accident.
“Accidents can happen due to either human error or technical grounds, most of the challenges are addressed and the line is free.