By GODFREY BIVBERE
Transportation of containers by rail from the nation’s seaport to the hinter land will by flagged off tomorrow by the Minister of Transport, Sen. Idris Umar, Managing Director of the Nigerian Railways cooperation (NRC), Engr. Adeseyi Sijuwade, has said.
Speaking with Vanguard at a gathering put together by the board and management of the Nigerian Shippers Council (NSC) in Lagos, Sijuwade said that containers belonging to Lagos Channel Management,LCM will be moved from APM Terminals in Lagos to Kaduna.
According to the NRC boss, “Tomorrow, the minister of transport will flag for the movement of containers from APM Terminals in Apapa port, Movement of 18 bonded containers to Kaduna/Kano. The Owners are Inland Containers (Nigeria) Limited (ICNL).
“For us that is going to be the beginning of our effects to decongest the ports by moving containers from Apapa port to the north,” he assured.
Sijuwade who also disclosed that efforts are being made to commence transportation of containers by rail to the eastern parts, also said that the project is part of government’s plan to ensure connectivity of all the transportation modes.
On improvement of the current coaches for carrying of passengers across the country, the NRC helmsman explained that plans are on for the acquisition of new and modern coaches in partnership with private sector operators.
He assured Nigerians that they will soon begin to enjoy transportation by rail on clear and comfortable coaches by 2014. Although he said he could not immediately give the names of the private firms, he said that discussions are at advanced stage.
On her part, President of Women International in Shipping and Trading Association (WISTA) Nigeria, Jean Chizo Anishere, also commended the management of NRC for steps so far taken, saying the actions are in the right direction.
Anishere noted that all the best ports in Europe and America, because of the linkage of their modes of transportation has brought about growth that has occurred there. She however noted that the connection of transport by air, sea, road and rail is the only way to speed up development.
She said that rail transportation is the most efficient, especially when it has to do with movement of boxes from the seaports.