By Godwin Oritse
THE Federal Government has concluded plans to make importers take delivery of their cargoes cleared from Lagos ports at Papalanto in Ogun State via rail lines.
Disclosing this at the just concluded World Maritime day celebration in Lagos, Minister of Transport, Mr. Rotimi Amaechi, said government has made provisions for the supply of 100 wagons and 60 locomotives to ease the movement of cargoes out of the ports.
While lamenting the traffic congestion suffocating business activities in Apapa area of Lagos, the minister said the new arrangement would reduce the logjam, adding, “The ministry is worried by the time being wasted in the ports and therefore is reviewing policies with a view to improving cargo transportation. With effective rail transportation of goods from the ports to the hinterland, less pressure will be on the roads and goods will get to destinations more secured and at less costs.”
According to him, the theme of the celebration, “Connecting Ships, Ports and people”, is focusing on helping International Maritime Organisation (IMO) member states to develop and implement maritime strategies to invest in a joined-up inter agency approach that addresses a whole range of issues. This, he added, includes the facilitation of maritime transport, increasing efficiency, navigational safety, protection of the marine environment and maritime security.
He said IMO would contribute to achieving the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) in response to the challenges facing the world at the moment. The challenges, he noted, include increasing world population, climate change, threats to the environment, unsustainable exploitation of natural resources and threats to food security.