FG plots haulage of cargos by rail from ports to decongest roads
The Federal Ministry of Transportation, through the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) is now working on a new template that will lead to the linking of all ports with rail lines.
Managing director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman said this in Lagos while responding to issues around using effective intermodal transport system to move cargoes from the nation’s seaports as suggested by stakeholders during World Maritime Day (WMD) Celebration, organised by the transport ministry.
According to her, the ports that will benefit from this include Apapa and Port Harcourt ports that are connected to the national line, while the other seaports like Tin-Can Island Port, would be concessioned if connected.
She said “The ongoing concessioning exercise of the rail lines in the seaports would definitely take cargoes from the ports to the hinterland and, the NPA is keen to work closely with the proposed concessionaires and the transaction advisers to ensure that the concession exercise prioritises the evacuation of cargo from the port. And we understand the need for private sector to lead investment and development in the port”.
She said to effectively move cargo in and out of the port, there is need for the Federal Ministry of Transport to provide clear timeline and percentage of cargoes that should be moved through the different nooses of transportation that include inland waters, road and rail line.
“We need to determine the percentages to be apportioned to a particular transportation model for evacuation of cargo out of the ports using the road, rail and inland waters. For instance, we need to determine that 30 percent of our cargoes must go through the rail and commit about three to four years timeline to achieving this and also deploy the necessary resources to building the needed infrastructure to achieve this.
Investigations show that she has put paid to the plans as NPA has commenced the decongestion of access road into Apapa port, and is determined to ensure that there are other means of cargo evacuation out of the port because “all cargoes cannot be moved by road.”
Explaining more on her plans over the rot in facilities and port infrastructure, she disclosed that already, NPA had identified the need to improve on the existing port infrastructure, which was why the authority had commissioned its staff to evaluate the level of decay in port infrastructure in the country.
“We have given a directive that all our budgetary allocation would be tied to developing infrastructure that would increase the revenue generation of NPA. Our focus is ensuring that our degenerated infrastructure is improved upon.