An oil and gas expert, Mr Felix Dada, on Tuesday appealed to the Federal Government to expand the capacity of the Nigerian railway for timely evacuation of general cargoes nationwide.
Dada who made the appeal in Lagos, said the advice became imperative following high cost of cargoes delivery across the country.
Dada, who is also the Managing Partner, Calprix Energy Consultants, said in an interview with the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) that the need for the rail expansion and overhaul was to reduce the number of articulated vehicles and minimise carnage on national trunk roads.
He said that the need for efficient inter and intra city transportation had made it a compelling challenge for both the state and federal governments to collaborate in tackling the nation’s rail system.
According to him, government must accommodate the revival of most of the abandoned coaches and derelict rail tracks in its ongoing infrastructure development policy.
The expert identified the railway central yard at Apapa port, which served as the middle point for distribution of goods, especially petroleum products, for urgent attention.
“I do not know the last time it worked, I do not know what work they do but it is (rail system) clearly a connection between a robust and reliable means of transportation and also economic growth.
“This is industrial sector; this is where the oil and gas sector is and goods and services.
“The Unipetrol tankers and Nigeria National Petroleum Corporation, (NNPC) used to move petroleum products in this country through this point. That is what we must get back to.
“So, it’s not enough to buy coaches and say that you have revived rail. Until we can move heavy cargoes, goods, containers, fuel on our existing rail networks then, we are far from it that, which is economic transformation. So, we cannot abandon this project,” he said.
On petroleum products tank farms, Dada urged the government to enhance the safety of Nigerians by relocating the subsisting tank farms outside the highly populated Lagos area.
Copyright Ships & Ports Ltd. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit given to www.shipsandports.com.ng as the source.