For the 24-hour port operations to succeed, there is need for the Federal Government to develop efficient railways, the Chairman, Rice Importers Association in Seme area of Lagos State, Mr. Samson Johnson, has said.
According to Punch, Johnson spoke in Lagos in an interview. “Marine transport is a component part of transportation and from my training and experience, marine transport cannot operate in isolation of other modes of transportation, especially the rail system,” he said, adding that if the link is right, the cost of goods in the market will be reduced.
He noted that when goods come into the country, the only means of distribution is by road, which is not cost-effective because of the poor state of the roads leading to the ports.
“Our position is that the Federal Government needs to revisit the railway system, which is the missing link in the port transport system,” he said.
Johnson argued that without an efficient rail system, it will be difficult to achieve 24-hour port operations. “The ports will remain unattractive and uncompetitive because cost of port operation will be high,” he stressed.
While pointing out that globally, the port system is becoming automated, he called on the Federal Government to respond accordingly by equipping the ports with state-of-the-art infrastructures such as fixed and mobile scanners.