FG attributes seaport congestion to lack of dry ports

The federal government has said that the country’s seaports are heavily congested due to the lack of dry ports and multimodal transport infrastructure to move cargo from points of origin to ports and vice versa.

According to the government, Nigeria’s inland waterways have around 10,000 miles of potential waterways, but only 3,000 miles are currently in use.

He disclosed it in his “National Development Plan 2021-2025: Volume I.”

He said: “Nigeria’s inland waterways are said to have around 10,000 miles of potential waterways, of which only 3,000 miles are currently navigable.

“This leaves a lot of room to explore the potential of inland waterways as an alternative and cost-effective means of transport connectivity. ”

According to the federal government, the country’s transportation infrastructure is constrained by insufficient funding, an unclear regulatory framework and a lack of multimodality.

He added that the transport infrastructure was inadequate for the size of the economy and its future economic ambitions.

However, he said, by 2025 Nigeria would modernize its current infrastructure to ensure economic efficiency, social equity and environmental sustainability.

He said: “Nigerian ports will become the preferred destination in West and Central Africa through deliberate collaborative strategies to increase throughput, improve safety and security, leverage technology to improve efficiency. and ease of doing business.

“In addition, inland waterways will serve as an inexpensive alternative means of transport to relieve congestion at seaports and bring goods closer to the hinterland.”

In its national development plan, the federal government added: “The objectives and targets of this sector are anchored on the development of at least two deep sea ports and five inland dry ports to decongest existing ports and increase inter- ports to reduce costs.

“In addition, investments will be made to reduce vessel waiting times, increase documentation and customs clearance speed, and increase overall throughput and vessel registration tonnage. Key strategies include: implementing process infrastructure upgrade to make Nigerian ports the main destination for shipments in West and Central Africa.

“This will include the full implementation of the WTO Trade Facilitation Agreement to reform port procedures, especially those relating to transit cargo. Improve navigation and ship safety within the port limit. Perform efficient port operations with full automation of port management systems.

“Contribute to the growth and diversification of the national economy. Ensure safer waterways and a more secure maritime domain. Achieve full compliance with international maritime instruments (IMO and ILO) for enhanced maritime safety and security.

“Strengthen the safety and security on inland waterways while improving integration with other modes of transport and creating an enabling environment to attract private sector participation in the sub-sector which would contribute to the diversification of the” economy. ”

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