The Honourable Minister of Transportation Rt. Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Ameachi has expressed confidence that the second segment of the Lagos – Kano Standard Gauge Rail System which would connect the Lagos Port Complex directly has commenced.
Speaking at the one-day National Conference on fast-tracking Ports Reforms at Victoria Island, Lagos today, Hon. Ameachi added that “efforts were on going by the Government to link Nigerian Ports and Terminals to other modes of transport such as roads, air and rail to help in the realization of our noble objective of providing safe, reliable and efficient intermodal transportation system”.
The Honourable Minister also informed the gathering that Government is in the process of establishment of Integrated Port and Maritime Data Centre which would generate reliable trade data that would be readily available to all agencies, operators and stakeholders at all times eliminating inherent abuses.
In her address, the Managing Director of Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Hadiza Bala Usman expressed the need to have an efficient rail system in moving agricultural produce and solid minerals from the locations of production which are mostly hinterland to the Nation’s Seaports for export.
She added that there was already a surge in export of agricultural produce as exemplified in frozen shrimps and prawns, sesame seed, cashew, soya beans and ginger amongst others.
Earlier in his welcome address, the Managing Director and Editor in Chief of The Nation Newspapers, Mr. Victor Ifijeh called for immediate resolution of the problems be-labouring the Ports until realizable template with define timelines are reached.
Mr. Ifijeh added that in order to have a lasting success in the sector, agencies within the Ports need to harmonize their plans and carry along other stakeholders in the industry.
The Conference later broke into plenary session where nitty gritty of the theme “Making Nigerian Seaports World Class” was analyzed.