NIMASA DG: Port efficiency needs intermodal transport system

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NIMASA DG: Port efficiency needs intermodal transport system

By Udeme Clement & Michael Chisom

The NIMASA DG:

The Director General, Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA, Dr. Dakuku Peterside has said that for any country to achieve efficiency at its ports, intermodal transport system is an essential factor to consider.

Dakuku who addressed journalists in Lagos noted that, in order to attract investment to the maritime sector, a seamless transport system is crucial for good connection between roads and rail to the ports.

He stated, “Taking maritime for instance, if the land transport system is efficient, vessels idle time in the port would be highly minimised or completely eliminated, thereby reducing the turnaround time of vessels. When the turnaround time is low, the berth occupancy ratio of the port would be high and the port would be efficient, competitive and profitable”.  

Speaking further, the NIMASA DG observed that port congestion is mainly caused by inability to evacuate imported goods out of the ports, which could be attributed to inefficiency of land transport connections to the ports.

His assertion, “When the connection is inefficient, the cargo dwell time would increase, thereby causing congestion. The resultant effect of this is that there would be no space left to discharge cargoes and offloading from vessels would be stopped, pending evacuation of already discharged ones. Whenever this happens, vessels would be delayed, the revenue of the port will drop, shippers will incur unnecessary demurrages and the port would become unattractive”.

The NIMASA DG highlighted the impact of intermodal transport to the maritime sector as; improvement on cargo handling time in the ports, improvement of security in the ports, reduction of damages and losses, ease of transfer to other modes of transport and faster transportation to the final destination. He said that, it is a greater enabler for multimodal transport system, which is a means of door to door delivery of goods using different modes of transport.

Furthermore, he used the opportunity to assure the international community that the Federal Government is leaving no stone unturned in ensuring that the access roads leading to Nigerian ports are very accessible, so that vessels accessing our ports do not exceed their dwell time.

While canvassing for more investments in the Nigerian maritime sector with an assurance of return on investments, he said the Ease of Doing Business initiative, which has seen Nigeria moved up from 169th position in 2017 to 145th in 2018, is a step in the right direction to bring about more investment opportunities.

He said,  It is hopeful that Nigeria would rank higher in the next rating. “We are also engaging the Central Bank of Nigeria, CBN, to create a specialised interest rate for acquisition of assets for our ship-owners, aside working towards disbursement of the Cabotage Vessel Financing Fund ,CVFF, as this will also give room for a full-fledged Cabotage regime and more job opportunities created”.

It may be recalled that the Dr. Dakuku Peterside led management of NIMASA has continued to attract foreign direct investment through continuous partnerships and collaborative initiatives, all geared towards the realisation of a robust maritime sector.

 

 

 

 

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