In line with its new transport policy framework, the Minister of Transportation, Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi, has disclosed that the Federal Government is committed to ensuring that all the nation’s seaports are connected to rail network.
The Minister stated this at the third edition of the yearly Corporate Dinner and Merit Awards, organised by the Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), in Lagos, said government is aware that transportation is key in any economic development plan.
He said: “The government is implementing a transport policy, which entails linking all seaports in the country by rail, in line with global best practices. All over the world, the most efficient way to transport heavy cargo is by water and rail.
“We have a 25-year rail modernisation programme, involving the development of a comprehensive intermodal system. We are taking the rail from where the past governments stopped to the seaports. The Lagos-Kano rail line, which began from Ebute Metta, is being taken from Ebute Metta to Apapa seaport.
“We will take it from TinCan and Apapa ports to connect the new Lekki port. The rail line from Lagos to Calabar links Port Harcourt, Onne, and Warri seaports. Our goal is to have a system where importers would bring in their goods and load them on the rail that takes them to the hinterland, thus, easing the pressure on the roads and increasing their longevity.”
Amaechi said, “Adequate investment in transport infrastructure will enhance the efficiency, reliability, and capacity of the transportation system, which will, in turn, lead to lower transport costs, shorter transit times, increased business efficiency, and business expansion, as money previously spent on transport is ploughed back into business.”
Secretary to the Government of the Federation (SGF), Boss Mustapha, disclosed that Nigeria had moved from 170 to 131 in the global ease of doing business table since the establishment of the Presidential Enabling Business Environment Council (PEBEC) in July 2016.
He said the Council was set up to remove bureaucratic constraints to doing business in Nigeria, and make the country an increasingly easier place to start and grow a business.