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Pressure to reduce on highways as containers’ move to north by rail

It was breaking news for maritime stakeholders who gathered in Sokoto for this year’s National Council on Transportation when the Minister of Transportation, Mr Rotimi Amaechi announced that containers are now being transported by rail from Apapa port in Lagos to the Inland Container Nigeria Limited (ICNL) depot in Kaduna.

Explaining more, the Minister represented by the Permanent Secretary of the ministry, Sabiu Zakari, said the development of intermodal transportation would reduce transport fares and create more jobs in the country.

According to him, “intermodal transportation would reduce congestion at the ports and create jobs. Government has made modest strides in linking Apapa port to rail, saying bonded containers are being transported by rail from Apapa port to the Kaduna depot”.

Amaechi disclosed further that government is working on connecting all the seaports, airports and all the Inland Container Depots by rail.

He said “The development of intermodal transportation would reduce the cost of transportation, the influx of people and trucks to port cities thereby reducing congestion at the ports.

“Create jobs by the optimal utilization of the various modes, develop modern transport infrastructure as the need arises and extend the life of the already existing ones.

“By reducing the over reliance in a single mode, like we have done on the road mode in Nigeria,” Amaechi said.

Sokoto State Deputy Governor, Alhaji Ahmed Aliyu who declared the conference open on Monday, called for the extension of railway lines from Kaura Namoda in Zamfara State to Sokoto.