As part of measures to curb the chaotic Apapa traffic, the Nigerian Shippers Council, NSC) has hinted that plans are underway to get about 50 percent of all cargos from the Lagos Ports to be evacuated by rail.
Disclosing this in a chat with Vanguard the Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer of NSC, Hassan Bello, the plan will drastically bring down haulage cost in the Lagos corridor while resolving the chaotic traffic situation in the area sustainably.
He explained that at the completion of the on-going rail project there will be competition between all the modes of transportation to and from the port.
He stated: "50 percent of all the containers will be evacuated by rail. It is great because it will also bring the cost level down. There would be competition, the truckers are given competition, and there are barges also.
"So you have a multimodal approach to cargo delivery and evacuation. The failure of infrastructure is being addressed by the government, the roads have been fixed. We have creek and Liverpool Road, Mile 2 - Oshodi - Tincan Island road.
"Shippers Council is pushing for digitization of the port; we have just gotten the latest report that one of the shipping companies has achieved 100 percent compliance; it used to be 40 percent. One of the terminals is 98 percent. One terminal that used to be 18 percent is now digitising and they told us that by end of March, they will call me to visit them to see the level of digitisation done.
"Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) is pushing for a port committee system and that is great. The port committee system will enable us to do all these things. It is not only for terminals to have digitiation, but other users should fit into the integration of the system, where we have a one-stop shop where we see everything going on. The banks must be part of it; the NCS must fit in."