Engineers task government on inter-modal transport infrastructure
They also want the review of Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) for industries whose activities endanger transport infrastructure and proper actions taken to ameliorate the situation.
Leading discussions on the issue at 2018 Academy Fellows Forum in Lagos, Admiral Emeraku Ijoma (rtd), an engineer said, all transport infrastructure developments should be made to emphasize ability to handle cargos from seaports and industrial clusters to the consumer centres.
Ijoma, who spoke on the topic: “Integrated transport system for national development”, said rail lines should be constructed to connect all industrial clusters.
Defining an integrated transport system to mean; effective connectivity between ports, rails, roads, inland waterways and air, he said the advantages of different modes will ensure seamless movement of goods and people as well as better utilization of resources in PPP agreements for transport infrastructure development.
Transport infrastructure development, he said, should be inherent in the design provisions that would engender inter-modal connection.
He lamented that Nigerian land transport system is almost uni-modal with over 90per cent of domestic freight and passengers transported by road.
He noted that at present, road transport is insufficiently regulated and there is insufficient enforcement of existing commercial vehicle overloading control contributing to the exponential deterioration of Nigeria’s roads.
According to him, the impact of poor integrated national transport system on national development has resulted in breakdown of transport infrastructure due to poor maintenance, over use or abandonment. “Lives and properties are subjected to enormous danger by trucks and articulated vehicles, while cargos arrive destinations late and in some cases arrive damaged”, he added.
On how to make integrating transport system work in Lagos, he explained that efforts must be made to repossess Apapa Rail Terminal and open up the line to Apapa Port, open up Creek Road connecting Tin Can Port to Apapa Port and on to Wharf Road, repossess Lilypond Container Terminal and deploy it for the purpose as well as channel all containers through the rail route out of Lagos.
In her address, president of NAE, Mrs Joanna Maduka, an engineer, noted that despite the colossal sum invested on roads, railways, airways and inland waterways among others, none of them at present operate efficiently or even complement others.
Maduka expressed worries that globally, Nigeria ranks low in the quality of its infrastructure, and this reality impacts ease of doing business, socio-economic progress and national development as a whole.