Cargo movement: NPA to explore railway

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) on Tuesday said it would explore the use of the railway in cargo movement across the country for port service efficiency.

Mr Nasir Mohammed, the Manager, Lagos Port Complex, Apapa, disclosed this in an interview in Lagos.
He said a port must be dependent on three angles for efficient cargo movement ; the water and the road; covering trucks and railway for it to succeed in its operations.

 “The success of any port, especially our Nigerian ports, must be dependent on three angles; the water angle and the road angle, of course the road angle divided on the trucks and the railway.
“For Lagos port, we are trying to harness all the three. We already have an existing road angle through which we move cargoes including containers and other general cargo that leaves Lagos ports.

“We know the stress that has been put in on the roads and the trucks themselves. And of course, we know the condition of the roads. So the management of the Nigerian Ports has been partnering with the Federal Ministry of Works for the repairs of these access roads.

 “We are exploring more aggressively, like the railway. The railway is one track that can really ease a lot of stress on the roads, including by moving a large volume of cargo.”

According to Mohammed, an existing rail track in the Lagos port complex terminates directly to Kaduna and Kano, enabling the inland container depot in Kano to be moving some boxes.
He however said with increased number of wagons the weekly movement to Kano would be more frequent.

He said the NPA was also considering moving cargo through the water ways as it had started discussions with some stakeholders.

 “We are also beginning to look towards using the waterways to move cargo.
“We want to start engaging some stakeholders in discussions in such a way to see the possibility of using our extensive waterways to move cargo, not just within Lagos itself,   but maybe out of Lagos.

“It is something that can be used, because it’s being used in some other parts of the world much more seriously in such a way that you don’t even see boxes; you don’t even see containers on the roads.”

Mohammed was certain of the possibility of the proposed project considering the management’s support for the initiative.