The National Association of Road Transport Owners (NARTO) has said that the planned evacuation of cargoes from the Apapa ports to Papalanto in Ogun State and other parts of the country by rail is a step in the right direction.
The Lagos State Vice Chairman, Dry Cargo section, NARTO, Alhaji Abdullahi Inuwa Mohammed who made the position of the association on the issue known in an interview with Primetime Reporters in Lagos described the plan as a good development.
According to him,”It is a good development because wherever train is operating, there must be trucks. If the train carried it to Papalanto, train cannot take the good to its final destination, it is the same truck that will come to carry it to it’s final destination.
“Years back, any railway station that you see when railway was functioning, you see in every station where there is cargo train, you must see parks where trucks are parked waiting to either carry the load to the final destination or they bring load for the train to carry. It is not a new development, it will even bring more jobs to our members”.
He however was concerned with the efficiency of the handling equipment at the pick up points for the trucks to load and discharge their cargoes as well as the road networks to the designated pick up points.
On the number of containers to be evacuated daily by the trains from the port, he said,” If I am correct, they said the train can only carry forty containers per day, that is twenty in the morning and twenty in the evening, when we have thousands in the ports waiting to be evacuated. Is it only forty containers a day that will solve the problem?
“That was why they told you that they are trying to bring 100 coaches and when are the coaches coming?”, he queried.
The Minister of Transportation, Hon. Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi recently announced the planned evacuation of cargoes from the Apapa port to Papalanto and other parts of the country to ease the sufferings of the masses in Apapa as a result of bad road networks occasioned by traffic in Apapa.
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