The federal government of Nigeria has restated its commitment to linking all seaports in the country to rail networks in line with its new transport policy. This announcement was made on Saturday the 19th of January by the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi at the 3rd edition of the annual Corporate Dinner and Merit Awards of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA). The event took place at the Convention Centre of Eko Hotels and Suite, Lagos.
“The government is implementing a transport policy, which entails linking all seaports in the country by rail, in line with global best practices,” he said. He added that “all over the world, the most efficient way to transport heavy cargo is by water and rail.”
This was disclosed at the 3rd edition of the annual Corporate Dinner and Merit Awards of the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA),
According to the Minister, the FGN has “a 25-year rail modernisation programme, involving the development of a comprehensive intermodal system.” He further stated that the government “is taking the rail from where the past governments stopped to the seaports.” This action by the present administration is commendable as it improves on the efforts of the previous government, thereby restating a continuity culture in our politics.
Amaechi also pointed out that the Lagos-Kano rail line, which began from Ebute Metta, is being taken from Ebute Metta to Apapa seaport.
This innovative policy would bring about effective and efficient interstate transportation of goods from the seaports, guarantee effective and quick delivery services, reduce the risk of losses, eliminate exposure to highway bandits and bring about low transportation cost. It would also limit the amount of damage the roads are subjected to because it would bring about a reduction in the number of trailers transporting goods via roads
Exploring the benefits of the policy Amaechi said that “adequate investment in transport infrastructure will enhance the efficiency, reliability, and capacity of the transportation system, which will, in turn, lead to lower transport costs, shorter transit times, increased business efficiency, and business expansion, as money previously spent on transport is ploughed back into business.” This would have a significant impact on the Nigerian Business economy.
Also commenting at the event was the Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, who stated that Nigeria had moved from 170 to 131 in the global ease of doing business table since the establishment of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) in July 2016.