The International Africa Ports and Harbour (IAPH), on Tuesday, called for the construction of rail routes to link Nigeria with the landlocked countries to achieve maximum volume of cargo transshipment.
Ms Hadiza Bala-Usman, the IAPH’s Vice President, made the call in an interview at the ongoing First Regional Conference of IAPH in Abuja.
According to her, the Nigerian government has already embarked on massive deployment of rails across the country, which would link all ports location.
She stressed the need for transshipment of cargo and for Nigeria to address those gaps of not being able to capture the maximum volume of cargo meant for transshipment.
“We have a policy position that the government has taken that all ports must have rail connection and there is the need to utilise barges by using inland waterways.
“The management of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) has planned ahead in the Lekki axis because we do not want the challenges that obtain in Apapa port area to happen in Lekki Deep seaport.
“We have mandated rail connection to the Lekki area and we have discussed with Dangote Group on the need to have pipelines to evacuate the liquid bulk as the company concludes on its refinery and the fertiliser plants in Lekki,’’ Bala-Usman said.
She said that NPA had made submissions to the Federal Government on the Lekki bypass to avoid traffic congestion in the next five to 10 years.
The managing director said, “Lagos State is constructing another access road for Lekki area.’’
Bala-Usman, who is also the Managing Director of NPA, said that the authority encouraged the use of barges starting from Ikorodu Lighter Terminal.
She said that NPA was also providing seamless approval across the board to various companies that intended to use barges.
Bala-Usman described Nigeria as a great nation with huge volume of cargo, adding that Nigeria would continue to be the destination for cargo.