Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA) Hadiza Bala Usman has cautioned that no country should contemplate establishing port without the complement of adequate rail transportation.
According to the Managing Directorr Rail transportation and linkages shall continue to play a crucial role to port operation, citing the example of the Nigerian experience where ineffective port railway infrastructure has affected effective port operations.
Hadiza Bala Usman was speaking in a welcome address at the beginning of the West Africa Rail Revolution Conference in Lagos on Monday, which drew participants from several European and West Africa countries.
“If anyone had any doubts as to clog that poor railway infrastructure could be in the wheels of effective port operations, the challenges that we currently face with the Lagos Port Complex (LPC) and the Tin-Can Island Port (TCIP) would instruct you about why no country would contemplate establishing port without the complement of adequate rail transportation”, she said.
“The truth is that a substantial part of the challenges that we face in the optimization of the ports in Lagos area which has even extended to distort normal activities of Lagos is because of the failure to provide adequate rail infrastructure in the first instance and the eventual dilapidation of the meagre structure that was available at the beginning”, Hadiza added.
The helms person of the NPA stressed the need for operators of the ports across the African continent to embrace the economic benefit of the sector as a key player in the growth and development of their country’s economies within the sub- Saharan Africa, adding that this would take place only through the collaboration in the sharing of experience at resolving complex issues.
She informed the delegates to the conference that the federal government was assiduously working towards a more efficient port terrain through the deployment of modern rail infrastructure and urged all the delegates to embrace the new agenda and explore all possible towards taking it to the next level.
In his welcome address, Engineer Chidi Izuwah, Director General and Chief Executive Officer, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC) while welcoming delegates to the 2-day event reiterated the need for African countries to ensure that adequate provision was made in the area of port infrastructure.
According to him, the developed nations of the world have overtime placed emphasis on developing their infrastructure which would further enhance port operation and efficient terrace delivery across board.
The theme of the 2-day conference tagged “Defining the Future of the Transport Infrastructure, Maintenance and Expansion in West Africa”, drew participants from the maritime sector within the continent of Africa and beyond.
Photo (L-R): The Technical Director, ARTF, Gabon, Jean-Aime Nzegengui, the Ambassador of Belgium, His Excellency, Daniel Dargent, the Managing Director, National Port Authority of Liberia, Bill Twehway, the Managing Director, Nigerian Ports Authority (NPA), Hadiza Bala Usman, the Director General, Infrastructure Concession Regulatory Commission (ICRC), Engr. Chidi Izuwah, Managing Director, Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC), Engr. Fidel Okhuria, Director Operations, National Railway Corporation (NRC), Niyi Alli, during the West African Ports and Rail Evolution Conference and Exhibition in Lagos, yesterday.
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