Worried by the persistent traffic gridlock in and out of the Apapa port city in Lagos, the Chartered Institute of Transport Administration of Nigeria (CIoTA) has identified development of transport infrastructure that would enable the utilisation of various modes of transportation in the movement of cargoes from the seaports to the hinterland, as a lasting solution.
To the Institute, Apapa gridlock has caused the entire Apapa community untold hardship, basically due to the concentration of over 80 percent port activities in Lagos ports.
Speaking to newsmen in Lagos at the weekend to intimate the public on the activities of the Institute towards the realisation of a viable intermodal transport in Nigeria and to announce its forthcoming national summit, Bashir Jamoh, president of CIoTA said the Institute will be pushing for the use of other ports in the south-south region in order to decongest Lagos ports.
“The major problem we are having is the leakage of the port with the rail line. On the other hand, most of the problems Nigerian government is facing in developing transport infrastructure is funding because Nigeria is a mono-economy that only depends on oil as source of funds for the government, and the price of oil is presently unstable,” Jamoh said.
According to him, CIoTA will at the upcoming Abuja summit, look at how government can develop policies that would introduce public-private partnership in the development of transport infrastructure like rail system.
Citing Lekki Deep Seaport as example, Jamoh said that if Nigeria can have a rail line from the deep seaport to the hinterland or an air base because it was assumed that a brand new airport would be built at the Lekki axis, to enable the movement of cargoes.
“In dealing with the huge cost of developing transport infrastructure, the institute would look at bringing investors that can invest and cushion the effect of the difficulty of financing transport infrastructural projects. This would help to bring relief for port users,” he said.
The CIoTA president also pointed out the need for the expansion of the ports, especially Apapa and Tin-Can Island ports to accommodate more containers, due to high volume of trade.
“Our ports, especially those in Lagos, are congested and there is need for expansion so that it can contain more goods. Trade is only complete when the goods reach the final destination efficiently. At the summit, we will be discussing and addressing how best we can get the needed value in the transport sector supply chain,” Jamoh said.
He further disclosed that CIoTA Nigeria is organising the 2019 National Transport Summit/Annual General Meeting with the theme, “Unlocking the Potential of Transportation for Sustainable Development,” and is scheduled to hold at the Shehu Musa Yar’Adua Centre, Abuja, from December 3 – 5, 2019.
“The aim of this summit is to push for policies that will enable seamless integration of the different modes of transportation in the country. It will have an array of renowned experts, led by Doyin Salami, chairman, Presidential Economic Council, who will be making presentations on various aspects of the Nigerian transportation system and seek ways for improving it, for the good of the economy,” he said.
He further stated the need to integrate road, rail, water and air transport as none can stand on its own without the other.