- Haulage Operators Seek Improved Rail Investment to Boost Economy
Stakeholders in the haulage and logistics industry have said the rehabilitation of the Nigerian rail network will usher in a new era of multi-modal transportation of goods, reduce the cost of living and boost the economy.
They spoke at the 2017 edition of Haulage and Logistics Magazine Annual Conference and Exhibition in Lagos.
One of the stakeholders, the Managing Director, Transport Services Limited, Deji Wright, said the rehabilitation of the rail network would ensure Cost-effective transport of agricultural materials, consumer goods and manufacturing items/facilities.
“Investment in infrastructure repairs and upgrade will positively impact on trade and haulage industry. Ongoing economic rejuvenation and diversification will drive growth in the industry,” he said.
According to him, rail haulage has enjoyed stronger growth than road transportation in the last five years, albeit road remains the dominant mode of haulage – doing as much as 90 per cent of the freight movement in the industry.
Wright said in terms of tonnage, road haulage grew on average by four per cent between 2013 and 2015 but declined by three per cent in 2016 due to economic recession.
He said the increase in train movement of passengers and goods across the country had been driven by recent improved investment in rail infrastructure by the government.
The Managing Director, MRS Oil Nigeria Plc, Mr. Andrew Gbodume, described transportation as very crucial in the distribution of petroleum products “as the production centres are usually far from the consuming areas.
“However, the transportation of petroleum products involves a lot of challenges, and it requires adequate coordination, planning, monitoring and effective control to achieve maximum level of functionality.
The Executive Director, Operations, Doreo Partners Limited, Appolo Goma, said the downturn in the nation’s economy since the 1980s had posed a lot of problems to the haulage industry.
“This has led to sharp decline in the volume of imported freights, manufacturing companies shutting down, etc. Other major issues with the industry are poor infrastructure, poor tracking and tracing capabilities, poor rail system, unstable and high price of fuel; inability of shipment to reach consignee within scheduled time, and competency issues.”