The Nigeria Shippers Council on Monday officially launched the return of evacuation of cargoes by rail in Lagos so as to facilitate speedy evacuation of cargoes from the port in Lagos, thereby decongesting the port and give easy access to export.
While speaking of the development, the Executive Secretary of the Council, Barr. Hassan Bello who was ably represented by Director, Regulatory Services; Mrs. Ifeoma Ezedinma said the move was aimed at boosting the nation’s export earnings and allow export cargoes trapped at various private garages and port corridors access Lagos ports through the road.
The Shipper Councils boss reiterated that export is key to the growth of the Nigeria economy and the terminals must be decongested for export to have easy access to the port, hence all hand must be on deck to ensure the return of rail for evacuation of cargoes from the seaport.
According to Bello, there is an existing Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) developed between the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) and APM Terminal, Apapa to be supervised by the Council on evacuation of cargoes through rail from the Seaports, adding that the council will monitor the process for compliance and sustainability
“Evacuation of cargoes through the seaports will be done through railway, badges and eventually, export cargoes will be mandated to come through the roads because with rail and badges, the port will be decongested for export to come in through the road. The cost will be reduced because the economy of demand and supply, that is, the market forces, will come in. Whoever causes delay in the supply chain will pays because we will monitor the process”, Bello said.
In his remark, the External Affairs Manager, APM Terminals, Daniel Odibe, reiterated that that the new Standard Operating Procedures will help bridge communication gap between APMT and NRC which ultimately bring efficiency in cargo evacuation through the rail.
He said “if we don’t have an agreed standard way of operating with the parties involved, you’ll definitely have gaps in communication. So we really commend Shippers’ Council for bringing NRC and APM Terminals together to bridge communication gap. Right now, we have a SOP that will enable us receive the right containers coming to APMT without any hindrance and also enable us service the trains within the agreed timelines.
“We are not envisaging more challenges with the commencement of the SOP and it will also create a platform for us to meet, review the past and seek ways to improve. What we propose was for four trains in a day within every 12 hours but NRC advised we start with two and we scale up as we go. We were assured that the process will be sustained.
A section of Marine Beach Bridge, one of the major roads linking the port is currently closed for repair. Odibe opined that the return of evacuation of cargo through rail will help to decongest the port.