The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has resumed container haulage from Lagos to Kano and Kaduna Inland Dry Port, Ismail Yusuf, managing director of Inland Containers Nigeria Limited (ICNL), has said.
According to him, about 40 containers have been moved from Lagos Port to Kaduna in the first instance.
Yusuf told newsmen in Lagos that an additional 40 empty containers have been returned through the rail to Lagos from the Kano and Kaduna Dry Port – a subsidiary of ICNL.
He said that the movement by rail will contribute to cost reduction, time-saving for cargo owners, and will further ensure the safety of the consignments being moved by rail.
According to him, it costs half of what is presently spent on the road to move containers by rail.
“As you know, the Federal Government is encouraging the Nigerian Railway Corporation to ensure movement of cargo from the seaport to the hinterland and this is very critical to our Kano bonded terminal as well as the Kaduna Inland Dry Port, which is our subsidiary company.
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Continuing, he said: “The management of ICNL and Kaduna Dry Port has discussed with the management of the railway corporation on the modalities. We thank God that our request has been acceded to and this is the outcome of our discussion.”
Yusuf said that the container haulage to Kano and Kaduna will take place every fortnight to enable them to attain maximum capacity.
He, however, said that the number of containers moved also depends on the availability of locomotives, and having enough cargo to load.
“NRC has provided two rails for us, and from there, we can increase it to four or five rails. We are talking with NRC on how we can increase the capacity to meet the yearnings of our customers who want to use the services of the rail corporation. Time spent on the movement is a minimum of 48 hours and maximum of 72,” Yusuf said.
NRC halted the movement of containers by rail from Apapa ports in 2020 for rehabilitation of the railway tracks.
Confirming this, on October 3, 2021, a Kano-based exporter moved about 100 tons of millet direct from Kano to Lagos Port via rail. The rail also had passengers on board the coaches.
“I spent almost 50 percent less as haulage cost to move my millets in containers from Kano Railway Station to Lagos Port. If these cargoes are to be moved by trucks, the goods worth millions of naira, would have cost me more,” said the exporter, who did not give his name.
According to the exporter, who told his story through a short video, business activities have started taking place at the Kano Railway Station after 20 years of redundancy.