The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has said that it has the capacity to carry 900,000 litres of fuel at once with tank farm wagons.
Making this known at a press briefing organised in Lagos on Monday to clear the grey areas regarding the petroleum tank wagons parked at Ebute-Metta, Director of Operations, Nigerian Railway Corporation, Mr Niki Alli, said that the Corporation has the capacity to meet the demand of moving petroleum products, provided the oil marketers are willing to partner with the Corporation.
He advised the oil marketers to take advantage of the available tank wagons to patronise the Corporation adding that the Corporation has signed Memorandum of Understanding with some stakeholders and that within a month or two, evacuation of fuel by rail to other parts of the country will commence.
Ali stated further that each of the 40 pressurised tank wagons in the Corporation’s fleet has the capacity to convey 45,000 litres of fuel.
He identified some of the problems militating against loading of fuel from the tank farms at Apapa to the lacklustre attitude of the depot owners to work on their facilities as well as test their integrity.
According to Ali the Corporation has expressed its willingness to encourage prospective tank farm owners by providing land on lease for the building of tank farms within its jurisdiction.
He also disclosed that discussions are ongoing with owners of tank farms linked by rail to allow those whose facilities are not linked by rail throughput to access their tank farms and load fuel.
Ali averred that the Corporation has demonstrated the capacity to distribute AGO by using the tank wagons to distribute to some outstations of the Corporation.
He also said that prior to the conclusion of discussions with tank farm owners and independent oil marketers on loading of fuel from the tank farms to tank wagons, the Corporation will commence discussions with Greenfield Nigeria Limited with a view to seeing how AGO could be transferred from Barges to tank wagons.
He also attributed the delay in the commencement of movement of fuel by rail in recent times to the issue of safety because fuel is highly combustible and issues related to safety must be sorted out.