• Sunday, July 14, 2024
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Nigeria must invest in infrastructure improve logistics performance – Experts

For Nigeria to rank high in global logistics performance index, there must be a deliberate effort by the governments and the private sector to invest in transport infrastructure and emerging technologies, experts have said.

Speaking in Lagos, Tuesday, at the opening of a two-day 2022 conference of the Chartered Institute of Logistics and Transport (CILT) with the theme, ‘sustainable innovations in global logistics and transport,’ Adebayo Sarumi, former managing director of the Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), said Nigeria is currently faced with huge infrastructural gaps that have hindered its desire to exploit it rich natural and human resources.

“Nations willing to grow must embrace innovations that deploy new ways of doing things more efficiently. They must timely invest in emerging technological innovations on transport equipment, methods, and practices, and deploy relevant infrastructure in the transport system that will make them competitive,” he said.

Sarumi said Nigeria must seamlessly use the inter-modal transport system of moving cargo to final destinations and hinterland to affect desired results.

He added that all these efforts, including investments and deployment of technology must combine to give the nation a high Logistics Performance Index (LPI) in the global space.

Gbenga Dairo, commissioner for transport, Ogun State, represented by Iyiola Oni, said during a panel discussion that developing seaports and inland dry ports in Nigeria without functional rail lines, cannot work.

According to him, moving freight by road from Lagos to Maiduguri and Calabar to Sokoto has become a suicide mission due to the bad state of the roads.

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He said Nigeria must look beyond road transport to connect the entire country by rail for efficient movement of goods and services.

“Nigeria must restructure the transportation system. We need to begin to move goods using the inland waterways via the river ports,” he said.

Declaring the conference open, Mu’azu Jaji Sambo, minister of transport, who was represented by Ibrahim Mohammed Biu, deputy director, research and statistics, federal ministry of transportation, urged transport researchers and regulators to collaborate and create innovative strategies that will aid the development of the nation’s transportation sector.

“The Federal Government is making efforts to establish critical transport infrastructure to ensure sustainable transport and logistics. Its ports reform programme aimed at decongesting the seaports, by taking shipping and port services closer to importers and exporters,” the minister said.

According to him, the recent declaration of the Dala Inland Dry Port in Kano as a port of origin and destination is a major milestone.

“Measures are being put in place to ensure ease of doing business at the ports. There has been a massive shift for the connection of the rail, road, and maritime sub-sector to reduce road traffic congestion and increase the competitive edge of Nigeria’s transport and logistics sector,” Sambo said.

Mfon Usoro, the national president of CILT Nigeria, said the conference, which brought policymakers, legislators, transport and logistics operators, academia, lawyers, and students together, will have an outcome that would drive collaborative work towards positioning the country positively in the global logistics performance index.