The Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC) has announced the resumption of the movement of cargoes in containers from Lagos to Kano and Kaduna Inland Dry Port.
This is part of efforts to reduce pressure on the highway, contribute to cost reduction, save time and further ensure safety of the goods being moved through the rail lines.
The development was confirmed by the Managing Director of Inland Containers Nigeria Limited (ICNL), Ismail Yusuf, who told journalists that about 40 containers have been moved in the first instance.
The Managing Director ICNL
Yusuf said that an additional 40 empty containers have been returned through the rail lines to Lagos from the Kano and Kaduna Dry Port, which is a subsidiary company of ICNL, , according to ThisDay.
Yusuf said that it will now cost half of what is presently spent on road haulage to move containers by rail adding that ICNL is still in talks with NRC to deploy additional coaches to the port operation because his company has cargoes on ground to be moved.
He said, “As you know that Federal Government is encouraging the Nigerian Railway Corporation to ensure movement of cargo from the sea port to the hinterland and this is very critical to our Kano bonded terminal and Kaduna Inland Dry Port, which is our subsidiary company. The management of ICNL and Kaduna Dry Port has led to the management of the railway corporation to discuss the modalities of how they can come back to life. We thank God that our request has been acceded to and this is the outcome of our discussion.
“It has been fruitful and the railway corporation had commenced movement of cargo from the sea port to the hinterland, that is to ICNL and Kaduna Dry Port. Presently, they have supplied us two rails for the last two weeks. We have moved about forty containers, and this will continue every fortnight until we attain maximum capacity.
“The number of containers being moved also depends on availability of locomotives, and as long as we have enough cargos to load. We have started from somewhere: from one to two rails, and from there we can increase it to four or five rails. We are talking with NRC on how we can increase the capacity to meet the yearnings of customers who want to use the services of the rail corporation. Time spent on the movement is a minimum of forty eight hours and maximum of seventy two.’’
The Federal Government had been embarking on several railway projects across the country in order to help improve on transport infrastructure and reduce the damage on the various highways.
Recall that the NRC, had in September 2020, suspended the movement of containers by rail from Apapa ports due to the rehabilitation of the railway tracks.
The suspension of the rail service is to pave way for the resumption of laying of tracks on the ongoing standard gauge rail project and ensure better service upon resumption.
Also, the NRC, on September 3, 2021, resumed the operation of passenger train service from Lagos to Kano.