According to information reaching Naijauto, all is now set in actualising the planned April date of evacuating cargoes from the seaport in Apapa Lagos to the inland container dry port in Kaduna. The evacuation is set to be carried out using railways to the Kaduna dry-port which was commissioned some 16 months back by the President, Muhammad Buhari.
Mr. Hassan Bello, the Executive Secretary of the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC), stated that 24 flatbed wagons are already being provided by the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) for this purpose. Mr. Hassan also said the evacuation of the cargoes is a step closer to finally realising the dream of a dry port in Kaduna, reiterating that the flatbed wagons are available for commencement in April.
Nigerian Shippers Council confirms the commencement in April
He said in a statement regarding the operation: ‘‘We just held a meeting now with NRC and they have so far been involved in the dry-port that we now have about 24 flatbed wagons designated for Kaduna dry-port. The wagons are on the ground now and by April, movement of cargoes will begin from the seaports to Kaduna and that will be another stage for the actualisation of the Kaduna dry-port.’’
Mr. Hassan though was not happy with information making rounds, where Togo and Ghana have been said to be in control of the hub in West and Central African Sub-region. The NSC chief affirmed that 80% of cargoes coming to the West and Central African region from around the world are headed to Nigerian ports, while also stating that Nigerian ports are now efficient and effective.
He was quoted as saying “For cargoes coming into West and Central Africa sub-region, Nigeria has 80% of the cargoes while other countries distribute 20 percent among themselves. So, how can they be a hub when Nigeria ports are becoming efficient by the day? We are attracting cargoes from other ports and the moment we get our infrastructure and our connectivity right, importers will patronise the eastern ports."
He also mentioned: “The government is tackling insecurity, once that is done, then we will see the real hub. We have the Lekki deep seaport with its huge capacity and when the Lekki deep seaport comes on board, we will get bigger ships and send the smaller ones to other countries."
Concerning the registration policy commenced by the Council, Mr. Bello explained it was necessary to reduce the spate of corruption by cutting off the human interface responsible for this. He, however, stated that there were a lot of benefits to be garnered from automating the system including easy payment at the ports.
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