The Chief Operating Officer (COO) Upstream of NNPC, Engr. Bello Rabiu (3rs from right) surrounded by other participating Nigerians while he declared open, the Nigerian Pavillion at the Offshore Technology Conference in Housten, Texas, USA last week.
...As N1.2 billion pressurized wagons rot in Lagos
Seven years after they were acquired by the President Goodluck Jonathan administration and commissioned in Apapa port, 40 pressurize wagons for easy transportation of petroleum products by rail across Nigeria are yet to be utilized.
This is even as petroleum industry downstream stakeholders have called on Mr Rotimi Amaechi, Minister of Transportation to look into the development of rail tracks from the port to ensure easy transportation of petroleum products.
The operators said that their demand was necessitated by the government’s stride in the evacuation of containers from Apapa Port by rail to the Kaduna Inland Dry Port.
Speaking with Shipping Position Daily, a marketer, Comrade Fidel Oseh said that if containers and petroleum products are moved from Apapa by rail, the roads will be protected, while major accidents will be adverted.
Stating reasons for his demands, Comrade Oseh argued that “Containers convey dry cargoes while tankers convey liquid and gaseous petroleum products, if containers goes on rail, and fuel tankers go on rail, Nigerian roads will be protected, and it will last longer”
“Major accidents will be averted; hence the accident rate will reduce. Goods and petroleum product will become cheaper, because rail transportation cost is cheaper than road”
“The existing trucks and tankers will only undertake local distribution of goods and petroleum products. Rickety trucks will fizzle out of the system because sanity would have been restored”
“More jobs will be created, currency will circulate fast and micro economy will improve. The multiplier effect of what cheap mass movement of goods and services will do to the populace, cannot be over emphasized” he said
Shipping Position Daily findings have however showed that the much-expected haulage of petroleum products by rail suffered a setback because the N1.2 billion worth of tank wagons purchased by the former minister of transportation, Senator Idris Umar are rotting away at railway yard in Ebute Meta, Lagos.
Recall that the Nigerian Railway Corporation had taken delivery of 40 pressurized tank wagons. The first batch of 20 tank wagons was delivered in February 2012 at the cost of N600 million while another batch of 20 was supplied in 2013.
Each of the tank wagons has the capacity to lift 45,000 liters of petroleum products, implying that a train trip from the Apapa port could lift as much as 1.8 million liters of petroleum products.
This would translate to taking about 55 trailers off the road. In spite of this huge economic and haulage benefits, the 40 tank wagons are rotting away at Ebute-Meta in Lagos.