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USAID/MARKETS to assist goods movement in Nigeria

By Daniel Gumm

NIGERIA, which has  been hit  hardest by collapse in movement of goods around as a result of inefficient transport system, poor road governance, delays, corruption or bribery, etc. will soon say bye to cargo delays, courtesy of USAID/MARKETS.

And in order to facilitate the movement of agricultural commodities within Nigeria and the West African sub-region, a suggestion has been made for initial consideration for the creation of the Corridor Management Entity to be undertaken.

USAID/MARKETS’ Director of Communication, Godson Ononiwu, who gave the suggestion in Lagos at the Trade and Transport Reform Transport Corridor seminar explained that the programme would support the need to bind public and private stakeholders to a common vision on operational, infrastructural and regulatory initiatives. Ononiwu noted also that forming a sustainable and effective corridor governance, based on the best practices elsewhere in Africa, would go a long way in streamlining regulation, facilitating transit, promoting public-private cooperation, supporting business linkages and encouraging transport logistical efficiencies.

The reform according to the Director of Communication should cover areas such as road governance and operators, port operations, as well as corridor management.

Nigerian agricultural value chain suffers greatly from high transport costs. Limited rail service, poor road conditions, ‘go-slow’ bottlenecks, and informal checkpoints all contribute to reduce the competitiveness of agricultural goods produced in Nigeria.

This is true of products that are transported over long distances, such as sorghum and rice, along the Lagos-Kano-Jibiya corridor. There is no corridor management framework that encourage the public and private sector to work together in improving corridor performance.

And as part of the Global Food Security Response (GFSR), USAID-Nigeria has established the Trade and Transport Reform component of MARKETS — Maximamising Agricultural Revenues and Key Enterprises in Targeted Sites programme to assist in easing these trade and transport supply chain bottlenecks within Nigeria and throughout the West African region.

The programme involved months of gathering data and stakeholders consultatrions, all components of the FastPath. FastPath is a computerised toolbox and hands-on process that has been employed to assess transport performance along the Lagos-Kano-Jaibiya corridor route, quantifying cost, time, and reliability factors along road, rail and waterway transport nodes.

The Lagos-Kano-Jibiya/Daura corridor is the major route for moving goods into the North of the country, for moving import and export commodities and supplying local markets, and for interstate movement of cargo.

Average annual daily traffic in the corridor ranges from 17,000 vehicles between Lagos and Ibadan in the South to 5,000 vehicles between Abuja and Kano in the North. Heavy vehicles account for 10 per cent to 14 per cent.

Given the the strategic influence of of the port of Lagos on all corridor performance, the analysis began in the port and unfolded in stages along the entire length of the corridor.


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