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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.
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