Efforts to connect seaports with rails ongoing – Hassan Bello

Barrister Hassan Bello, Executive Secretary, Nigerian Shippers Council

The Executive Secretary of Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC), Barrister Hassan Bello has disclosed that the federal government is putting all efforts in place to connect the nation’s seaport with the rail so as to help facilitate prompt movement of cargoes to the hinterland.

He said the country needs to exploit other modes of transportation such as pipeline in the movement of cargo across the nation.

Hassan Bello stated this while speaking at a one-day talk shop on logistics organised by the Maritime reporters of Nigeria (MARAN) at the International Maritime Press Centre, Apapa, Lagos on Tuesday.

Corroborating Bello, the General Manager of Ports Terminal Operator Limited (PTOL), Port Harcourt port, Mr. Henry Cline while speaking on logistic challenges from the perspective of terminal operator said there was need for the country to consider use of other modes like pipelines in order to reduce the load on our roads.

He said since the adoption of the landlord model of seaport management by the Federal Government through the Nigerian Ports Authority, NPA in 2006, concessionaires have injected a lot of capital into the port development.

He also listed the effects of the private involvement into terminal management to include: reconstruction of quay walls, stacking areas and overall improvement in the infrastructure of the ports, procurement of new plants and equipment, extra revenues have accrued to the federal government in form of lease fees, throughput fees, etc, employment of professional hands and training of personnel resulting  in efficiency and quick turn round of vessels, reduced cargo dwell time in the ports and security of cargoes.

While lamenting on the challenges faced by the port operators in the recent time, Cline insisted that lack of security at the ports, lack of certain infrastructure and services in the post concession era, non-provision of marine craft and many other challenges have made the operation difficult for port users.

”The major mode of transport when the ports were concessioned was road transport. This is still the case after about 11 years of concession. The implication of this is that the seaports/terminals as points of intermodal transfer are saddled with a single mode of transport to exit and receive cargoes. The consequence of this development is that development is that the logistics of exiting and receiving cargoes are crippled when he only mode of transport is either block or dilapidated,” he said.

 

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