Stakeholders in the transport sectors are seeking for a better connectivity in the transportation systems across the country in order to support and promote seamless transport for a better economy.
A representative of the Executive Secretary, Nigeria Shippers’ Council, Mr. Nanle Nanbol in his paper titled “Inland container deport and the hinterland connectivity : Shippers council experience, called for all hands to be on deck in the quest for a better connectivity in the transportation systems across board.
Bello acknowledged that the functionality of all transportation modes in the country land, rail, sea, air was what the country needed under the present economic realities to boost the economy going forward.
Comparing Nigeria with India, which he said has over one thousand dry ports against six approved locations for the Inland Container Depots in the country.
The NSC boss noted that more work still needed to be done to open up the system to accommodate all and sundry and called on all stakeholders including the federal government to sustain the ongoing resuscitation of the Nigeria Railway Corporation saying that the movement of heavy cargo from the coastal areas to the hinterland was dependent largely on the effectiveness of the rail transport system.
He acknowledged the Nigeria Shippers’ Council positive performance within its power to promote intermodalism noting the advantages of inland dry ports which includes: Free flow of traffic at the sea ports, provision of quick and safe access to port facilities to and from inland transport networks, decongest the sea ports by increasing storage facilities, with shipping services brought to the door steps of shippers/consumers across the nation and most importantly generation of employment opportunities for the populace.
Bello pointed out that hinterland connectivity required synergy through proper cooperation even as he admitted that transport connectivity on one hand requires highways, railways, coastal and inland waterways, pipeline, Maritime, Air Transport, Logistics Centers and inland dry ports ultimately.
On his part, the Director General, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA , Dr. Dakuku Peterside represented by Mrs. Moronke Thomas, Head Planning, Research and Data Management Services, in his good will message applauded the organizers of the conference, adding that the growth and development of the transport system was the upper most thing on the mind of NIMASA under its present leadership.
Speaking in her capacity, Mrs. Thomas alluded to the fact that the agency since the assumption of office by Dr. Peterside has continued to witness quantum leap in every facet of its operation saying that the reduction if not complete elimination of maritime crimes was as a result of heavy investment on security and collective efforts of all and sundry which she said was instrumental to having a more safe and secure sea channels.
While describing the NIMASA DG as innovative in all his approach however called for supports from stakeholders locally and internationally to further advance the progress of the system for the common good of all.
She highlighted the fact that the synergy between NIMASA and the Nigerian Navy has grown to a point that a system has been built at NIMASA’s office where they can monitor incoming ship so as to ascertain its state of safety even before the ship can berth at the quays.
Acknowledging the fact that this measure has effectively put the safety of ships operating in the Nigeria water ways in check, Mrs. Thomas however explained that her agency is doing a lot in the area of awareness creation even as feedback was sought from all consumers of the agency’s services.
Mr. Eshiet Elihu, Managing Director Elliabonave company limited in his contribution, believed that the perennial problems on the transport sector which he described as a panacea to economic prosperity first and foremost can only be addressed if a road network system that will guarantee free flow of goods and services was permanently addressed across the length and breathe of the country.
Elihu inferred that whether one is using the airports, waterways, railways, that such movement begins and ends on the use of the roads saying that road was pivot on which every other means of transportation depended and should be given its place in terms of infrastructural development.
According to him, failure to undertake a thorough study whereby a road is built and suddenly goes bad within one year underscores the need to holistically take a more in-depth study of the transport system
Elihu also identified the need to improve upon other means of transport like the rail system in the face of the emerging economic realities adding that the grid lock at Apapa ports would have been better handled if the rail system in the country was working optimally.
While calling on the federal government to take bold steps by ensuring that the tax payers money spent to develop the ports of calabar, Port Harcourt, Warri among others were justified by utilizing the facilities there adding that, that way the economy will open up and thereby promote corresponding economic development across the length and breathe of the country.
In his opening speech, the coordinator of face of Nigeria transport and logistics conference, Mr Cosmas Okereafor, said the program was meant to encourage those driving the current transformation in the transport sector in order to reposition it through infrastructural upgrade and investment.
Okereafor said the railway corporation speaks volume of the unprecedented developments in the transport sector adding the transport sector required those that will take the sector to the height stakeholders were clamoring for.
In attendance were management staff of various government agencies on transport, MD/CEO’s of logistics companies across the states as well as experienced players in transport management who are desirous of supporting the workability of government policies and programs on efficient transport development in Nigeria.
The conference climaxed with an awards presented to the Director General, Nigeria Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA), Dr. Dakuku Peterside as the most innovative DG of the year 2019, the Managing Director/CEO, the Nigeria Ports Authority, Hajia Hadiza Bala Usman, as the most inspiring MD/CEO, 2019 and to the Executive Secretary, the Nigeria Shippers’ Council as the most resourceful agency of 2019.