The Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC) has disclosed that it is facilitating the deployment of about 24 wagons which are going to be deployed for the purpose of moving containers to the inland container depots.
The Executive Secretary of NSC, Mr. Hassan Bello who made this disclosure last week in Lagos during a seminar organized by the council in collaboration with the Standard Organization of Nigeria (SON) also disclosed that the first consignment will leave for the Kaduna Inland Depot on April 16, 2019.
Bello said that the agency has discussed with the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) to make use of the narrow gauge to transport those cargoes for now.
He reiterated that using the rail for movement of cargo will not only reduce the cost of doing business, but will also ensure faster and safer movement of cargos.
“We have about 24 wagons which are going to be deployed for hinterland cargoes, we have discussed with the Nigerian Railway Corporation and using the narrow gauge for now, we transport a lot of cargoes to hinterland by rail. And that will ease the road; it will be faster and cheaper”, he said.
According to him, “if it is say N750, 000 to transport cargo to Kaduna, that will be half of it by rail and that means the cost of transportation is reduced already. We hope that by April 16th the first consignment will go to Kaduna and other off dock terminals in various parts of the country”.
Speaking further, he said that the council is working seriously to see that the eastern ports get the patronage they need, adding that there is also need to perfect the rail link with the hinterland.
“What we need to perfect is the link with the hinterland, we need to see that the eastern ports are patronized, that it is not only Lagos, we need to pursue the Lekki Deep seaport so that bigger ships will come, so that the hub status that we have always wanted will be in Nigeria.”
Bello also said that the council is engaging truckers to ensure that cost of transporting cargos is in a scientific approach.
“The council has also discussed with the truckers, 70% of the economy rest on the owners of trucks and their drivers and we need to find out what the rates are when one wants to transport say 20ft container from Lagos to Kano; what is the cost”, he added.