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NPA seeks more rail coaches for ease of cargo movement

The Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has sought the
provision of increased number of railway coaches to facilitate easy movement of
cargoes in and out of the ports, linking the hinterlands.

Managing Director of the NPA, Hadiza Bala Usman,
said this while briefing newsmen on the forth-coming
International Association of Ports and Harbours(IAPH) Africa Regional
In line with the focus of the conference, which
is to address the need for connecting Africa’s ports and the hinterland for
efficient service delivery and improve trade, the NPA MD said the rail lines at
the Apapa port were underutilized.
She said: “We actually have
rail evacuation straight to the port moving fertilizer, but Nigerian rail does
not have carriages, does not have the number of coaches required.”

She lamented that with several tank farms in Apapa the evacuation of
liquid bulk was not being done using pipelines, rather the port access roads
kept bearing the burden of over utilization and suffering perpetual gridlock.

Speaking on the efforts to clear the Apapa gridlock, which has for a
long time now caused difficulties in the movement of cargo, Bala Usman said the
Ministry of Works would soon commence the construction of the shore protection
of the trailer park it is building close to the Tin-can Island port.
She, however, said that the President had recently directed that the
ongoing rail rehabilitation and expansion should ensure that all ports are
linked to the rail, which was not so before.

The MD also said that the NPA had made submissions to the ministry of
works to prioritize the linkage of the access roads to port locations.

In the same vein, the Authority is working to ensure the utilization barges
for movement of cargoes through the inland waterways.

According to Ms Bala
Usman, it will entail the National Inland Waterways Authority prioritizing its
operational capacity dredging some of the river ports to ensure maintained
channels for safe navigation.

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