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NPA solicits rail infrastructure for seaports

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[FILE PHOTO] Managing Director of NPA, Hadiza Bala-Usman

The Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, has emphasised the need to have standard railway infrastructure linking the seaports, saying the current dilapidated structure is impacting negatively on Lagos ports.

Usman, who spoke at the West Africa Rail Revolution Conference, in Lagos, Monday, cautioned that no country should contemplate establishing a port without the complement of adequate rail transportation.

She insisted that rail transportation and linkages should continue to play a crucial role in port operations, and bemoaned Nigeria’s experience where ineffective port railway infrastructure has affected effective port operations.

Usman said: “If anyone had any doubts as to the clog that poor railway infrastructure could be in the wheels of effective port operations, the challenges that we currently face with the Lagos Port Complex (LPC), and the Tin-Can Island Port (TCIP), would instruct you about why no country would contemplate establishing port without the complement of adequate rail transportation”

“The truth is that a substantial part of the challenges that we face in the optimisation of ports in the Lagos area, which has even extended to distort normal activities of the state, is because of the failure to provide adequate rail infrastructure in the first instance. Also, is the eventual dilapidation of the meager structure that was available at the beginning,” Usman added.

She stressed the need for port operators across Africa, to embrace the economic benefit of the sector as a key player in the growth and development of their respective economies, noting that this can only happen through collaboration in the sharing of experience in resolving complex issues.

She however assured that the Federal Government was working towards a more efficient port terrain through the deployment of modern rail infrastructure, and urged delegates to embrace the new agenda and explore all the possibilities toward taking it to the next level.

The Director-General/Chief Executive Officer under the Presidency Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission, Chidi Izuwah, reiterated the need for African countries to ensure that adequate provision is made in the area of port infrastructure.

He noted that developed nations of the world have, over time, placed emphasis on developing their infrastructure, which further enhanced efficient port operations.


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