First corridor management group in West Africa debuts in Nigeria

Bothered by the high cost of moving goods and long delays experienced on the Lagos-Kano-Jibyia (LAKAJI), corridors, stakeholders in the maritime industry have inaugurated a monitoring group that would solve the numerous problems of the corridor.

The group called LAKAJI CMG has members drawn from Council of the Regulation of Freight Forwarding in Nigeria, (CRFFN); National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) and the Nigerian Shippers’ Council (NSC).

Other members are the Federal Road Maintenance Agency (FERMA) and the National Association of Nigerian Traders (NANTS) while  the United States Agency for International Development (USAID) Nigeria is supporting the initiative under its Nigeria Expanded Trade and Transport Program (NEXTT).

Addressing journalists after the first Annual General Meeting, Chairman, Board of Directors of the group, Sir Mike Jukwe said LAKAJI CMG would help improve the movement of freight across the corridor.

His words, “The LAKAJI CMG was formed in response to the high costs and long delays experienced along the corridor. It costs $3,041 and takes approximately 12.5 days to export a 20 foot container along the corridor.

“It costs $4,737 and takes approximately 19.5 days to import a 20 foot container. The costs and time observed for both imports and exports are significantly higher than corridors of similar length elsewhere in West Africa and in other parts of the world, even when corridors cross international borders.

“The LAKAJI CMG will monitor corridor performance, and work to facilitate the movement of goods along the LAKAJI corridor, improve the quality of freight transportation along the route and transform the corridor into an internationally competitive trade facilitation route by improving functions performed by the public sector and services offered by the private sector.”

Jukwe also disclosed that the CMG would have two working groups that would help in achieving its set objectives.

“There would be Transport and Logistics group that would participate in the monitoring of delays and costs along the corridor and explore opportunities to reduce them.

“These may result from condition of pavement, roadblocks, congestion, and other problems. The group will look at port operations, as well as road challenges. The group will identify infrastructure needs and explore potential for investments to overcome challenges,” he said.

The other group, he said, is the enabling environment group which will “use information collected along the corridor to identify needed improvements in policy, regulation, and enforcement, it will plan advocacy with the GoN to effect change”.

Also, the LAKAJI CMG AGM elected its inaugural Board of Directors with five members as it reached an agreement on the setting-up of the Group’s Secretariat, which will be based in Lagos and required staffs are to be recruited forthwith.

The Board of Director’s inaugurated at the meeting consists of the representative of CRFFN, NARTO, NSC, FERMA and NANTS.

The directors will provide policy direction for the CMG secretariat and ensure that they transform the Nigerian economy as the board of the first CMG of a corridor in Africa by improving economic investments along the corridor.

The group also disclosed that it would hold a Corridor Improvement Summit in the first quarter of 2015.

“The CMG will begin monitoring corridor performance in 2015, publishing relevant information on a Transport Observatory available to stakeholders and the general public.”

LAKAJI CMG is a public/private initiative designed to support the emergence of a multimodal transport system (road, rails with links to air and sea) along the LAKAJI Corridor in Nigeria. It is the first corridor management group to serve this function in Nigeria and in West Africa.

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