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Intermodal transport system is essential to port efficiency, says Dakuku

Dr. Dakuku Peterside, DG NIMASA

Director General of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency
(NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside has said that for any country to achieve
efficiency at its ports, intermodal transport system is an essential factor to

The DG who was addressing journalists in Lagos noted that in
order to attract investment to the maritime sector, a seamless transport system
is very crucial as there must be a good connection between the road and rail to
the ports.

Accordingly, Peterside stated that “taking maritime for
instance, if the lands transport system is efficient, vessels idle time in the
port will be highly minimized or completely eliminated, thereby reducing the
turnaround time of vessels. When the turnaround time is low, the berth
occupancy ratio of the port will be high and the port will be more efficient,
more competitive and more profitable

Speaking further, the NIMASA DG observed that port congestion
is mainly caused by the inability to evacuate imported goods out of the ports,
which can be attributed to the inefficiency of land transport connections to
the ports.

When the
connection is inefficient, the cargo dwell time will increase, thereby causing
congestion. The resultant effect of this is that there will be no spaces left
to discharge cargoes and offloading from vessels will be stopped, pending
evacuation of the already discharged ones.

Whenever this
happens, vessels will be delayed, the revenue of the port will drop, shippers
will incur unnecessary demurrages and the port will become unattractive
,” Peterside said.

The DG who highlighted the impact of intermodal transport to
the maritime sector as; improvement on the cargo handling time in the ports,
improvement of security in the ports, reduction of damages and losses, ease of
transfer to other modes of transport and faster transportation to the final
destination amongst others.

He noted that it is a greater enabler for multimodal
transport system, which is a means of door to door delivery of goods using
different modes of transport.

Furthermore, he used the opportunity to assure the
international community that the President Muhammadu Buhari’s led Federal
Government is leaving no stone unturned to ensure that the access roads leading
to Nigerian ports are very accessible so that vessels accessing our ports do
not exceed their dwell time.

While canvassing for more investment in the Nigerian maritime
sector with an assurance of return on investment, he said the Ease of Doing
Business initiative of the Federal Government, which has seen Nigeria, moved up
from 169th position in 2017 to 145th in 2018 is a step in the right direction
intended to bring about more investment opportunities.

He noted that it is hopeful that Nigeria will rank higher in
the next rating.
“We are also engaging the Central Bank of Nigeria (CBN) to
create a specialized interest rate for acquisition of assets for our
shipowners, aside working towards the disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel
Financing Fund (CVFF) as this will also give room for a full-fledged Cabotage
regime and more job opportunities created
,” Dr. Peterside said.

It would be recalled
that the Peterside
led Management
of NIMASA has continued to attract foreign direct investment through continuous
partnerships and collaborative initiatives, all geared towards the realization
of a robust maritime sector.

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