The Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Hadiza Bala Usman has informed stakeholders and port users of the renewed vigour and determination of the NPA at improving the present state of infrastructure to meet world class standards towards ensuring the swift evacuation of cargo from the seaports across the country to the hinterlands through the rail lines.
According to her, the authority was fully aware of the state of congestion in the ports caused by the bad roads.
This, she regretted, has led to a reduction in revenue accruable to the organisation as well as the inability of the nation to maximise her potential as a major player in the Maritime sector within the Sub-Saharan Africa.
Hadiza represented by the General Manager MDâ€™s Office, Iheanacho Ebubeogu, made these remarks while on a facility maintenance inspection of the state of the rail lines in the ports accompanied by the top echelon of the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) led by its Director of Operations Niyi Alli to terminals within the Apapa corridor.
â€œManagement would collaborate and improve on the existing synergy with the NRC at addressing the challenges facing the Corporation with a view to increasing the market size of the country in the area of Cargo evacuation,â€ she said.
Fielding questions after the inspection tour, Alli, who stood in for the Managing Director of NRC, Mr. Fidet Okhiria, stated that the working visit was to assess the present state of the rail lines in order to further collaborate with the NPA in the area of rehabilitation.
According to Alli, the rail service would be optimally utilized for cargo evacuation in line with the federal governmentâ€™s policy of Ease of Doing Business in the country.
He stated that plans are being concluded by putting into operation between 15- 20 locomotive wagons with each evacuating 20 units of 40 footer container at a go from the terminals to the hinterland.
The Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Amaechi had recently instituted a Committee comprising the MD of NPA and NRC as well as their top echelon to carry out on the spot assessment of the present state of infrastructure of the rail lines in the terminals.
It is expected that the rehabilitations would further go a long way towards the swift evacuation of cargo from the ports.