By Samson Echenim
LAGOS—SHIPPERS, port investors, logistics services providers and other shipping stakeholders, have called on the Federal Government to face provision of intermodal system of transportation in the country with the seriousness it deserves and not paying lip service to the transport sector, as most previous governments did.
The port and shipping logistics stakeholders converged yesterday, at the International Press Centre of the Nigerian Maritime Reporters Association, MARAN, Apapa, Lagos for a one-day talk shop themed, “The Prospects and Challenges of Logistics Service as the Life Wire of the Maritime Industry,” organised by the maritime journalists, with a view to seeking ways of improving the nation’s abysmal transport and shipping logistics infrastructure.
Describing shipping as the soul of every economy, the shipping stakeholders urged the Federal Government to begin concrete development of the waterways, rehabilitate and develop new port road networks, as well as advance the course of rail infrastructure linking the nation’s various ports.
They also called for standardisation of the freight forwarding profession in Nigeria which they described as the heart of shipping logistics.
Former director-general of the defunct Nigerian Maritime Authority, NMA, and chairman of the forum, Mr Patrick Egesi decried the state of the Lagos ports access roads, noting that Apapa was not planned for the logistics it is currently handling.
A UK-trained freight forwarder, Egesi said: “Federal Government must plan the roads, rail, waterways for efficient logistics in the country. At the time goods are being cleared at the port in Lagos, the shippers should also, same day be in Kano finalising delivery, but where are the roads?”