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FG to install baggage scanners in railway stations

The Federal Executive Council (FEC), presided over by Vice President Yemi Osinbajo, has approved N495million for the installation of baggage scanners in all the railway stations across the country.

The Minister of State for Transportation, Prince Ademola Adegoroye, disclosed this while briefing State House correspondents after the FEC meeting on Wednesday at the Presidential Villa, Abuja.

Adegoroye said that the installation of the scanners would strengthen security at the railway stations in the country.

He said that: “The Federal Ministry of Transportation had two memos today, which I presented on behalf of the ministry and it had to do with one, the provision of scanners at all railway stations all over the country.

“You’ll all agree with me that in view of the process of security of lives and property, such equipment has to be installed at our railway stations. Since we’re starting railway revolution, we are trying to put in place a lot of things with the railways. We don’t want people to come and damage all that the government has been trying to put in place in that sector.

“So, today there was a memo before Council for the provision of baggage scanners at railway stations and I’m happy to inform you that the Council agreed with us and has approved that contract for scanners to be installed at railway stations so that when people get there and have goods, then they can pass through the scanners and they can be sure that there’s nothing that can destroy, that can cause violence or inflict danger or bring lives and property at stake.”

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The minister said the second memo concerned the provision of towage services at the ports. He said the Lekki Deep Sea Port was inaugurated by President Muhammadu Buhari recently and that one of the statutory responsibilities of the Nigerian Ports Authority was the provision of marine services, being the regulatory agency in that sector.

He said providing towage was necessary for easy discharge of goods and ship berthing.

“Of course, there was the argument that why would the company that provides such services at Apapa Port and Lagos TinCan Island Port not do it. We think that it will overstretch that company, and because it would overstretch them, they may not have the capacity to cope.

“Secondly, we want the Lekki Deep Sea Port and the Dangote Jetty to be able to perform maximally. So, FEC agreed with us and has given a 10-year concession to that company, Messrs Alcuff, to carry out towage services at the Lekki Deep Sea Port and the Dangote Jetty,’’ he said.

Meanwhile, the FEC also approved N6.28 billion for surface maintenance of the Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos State.

The Minister of Works and Housing, Babatunde Fashola, SAN, said the 24-month repair will cover 11 kilometers including interchanges, ramps, and critical links.

He said this was in line with Executive Order 11 signed by the President Muhammadu Buhari, in April 2022, which gave legal backing to the country’s national maintenance policy.

The approval came barely two weeks after the Lagos State Government said it would undertake rehabilitation works on the 32-year-old Bridge to repair failed and peeled asphaltic sections and substructure.

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The minister added that there are no anticipated prolonged closures during the works.

He said the council also approved a N17.5 billion variation for the contract for the construction of the old Enugu-Onitsha road whose current sum now stands at N48.99 billion.

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