Cargo movement by rail, barges is best solution to Apapa gridlock- CIoTA President



Dr. BAshir Jamoh, President CIoTA

One good way to go in seeking solution to the perennial gridlock in the Port City of Apapa, Lagos, is to turn to the Railway and Barges for the movement of containers, rather than remain stuck with road transportation alone.
Dr. Bashir Jamoh, the President, Chartered Institute of Transport Administration (CIoTA), Nigeria, made this known recently during the celebration of the African Day of the Oceans and Seas organised in Lagos by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA).

Jamoh said that CIoTA was advocating a more sustainable intermodal transport system where containers would be moved from inside the ports through the railways or Barges to different locations.

He said: “So, that is why the first thing the Chartered Institute of Transport Administration will do is the advocacy for intermodal transport system. The issue of when we have to be using rail trucks to move cargo from the ports outside, will be paramount in terms of policy, advisory and human capacity, and skill acquisition for our own members, who are in different agencies in the maritime industry.”

Jamoh said the problem had dragged for long and needed to be addressed in a more sustainable way now, as he recalled how a former minister sought an option of container parks in Ogun State.

“Some few years back, a former minister of transport introduced a system for containers to be parked in Ogun State, so that the containers do not need to be staked on trucks and remain on queues blocking the roads around the Ports,” he said.

The CIoTA President however said that it was important that the ports be expanded as the present Apapa and Tin-Can Island Ports have lost spaces where containers would have been to concessionaires, who are in charge of the terminals.

 He said: “As you are aware, most of the parking spaces inside the port where trucks can go and park and load their cargo has being concessioned and those spaces belong now to the concessionaires.”

While decrying how much Nigeria had lost trade to ports of neighbouring countries as a result of a number of constraints, Jamoh said it would be beneficial to Nigeria to consider additional ports seeing the viability along the coastline from Apapa to Badagry.

He said the population of the country since the 1970s to ‘80s when the Lagos Ports were built had increased, and impacted on economic activities at the ports, thus requiring expansion of the port capacity, for more effective operations.

CIoTA is looking to pushing for policy to uphold seamless integration of the transport modes to support trade, in terms of easy movement of cargo across locations.