The Federal Government on Tuesday announced plans to establish truck transit parks in five states so as to decongest the two major seaports located in Lagos and Port Harcourt.
It also declared that road haulage would continue as the major means of long distance transportation of goods and services in Nigeria considering the neglect of the country’s rail lines for about three decades.
The Minister of Transportation, Rotimi Amaechi, stated this at a national summit organised by the Federal Ministry of Transportation and the Nigerian Shippers’ Council on the establishment, management and operations of truck transit parks in Abuja.
Amaechi said the summit was a demonstration of the resolve by all tiers of government to address the infrastructure deficit across the country and noted that the five truck transit parks would be established in Kogi, Kwara, Ogun, Enugu and Lagos states.
He said, “The Federal Government plans over the next couple of years to develop truck transit parks in Lokoja in Kogi State, Obolo-Afor in Enugu State, Ogere in Ogun State, Jebba in Kwara State, and Porto Novo Creek in Lagos State as an alternative strategy to address the menace of truck congestion at the seaports in Apapa and Port Harcourt.
“These are meant to complement the Ore Sunshine City in Ondo State and the ones being processed by the Kaduna State Government at Mararaban Jos, Buruku and Tapa on the Kaduna-Abuja highway.”
Amaechi added, “The Federal Government therefore invites the buy-in of state governors to fast-track the provision and process of developing these critical road infrastructure. The Federal Government shall ensure that the TTP projects independently developed by state governments and private investors meet a minimum standard in the number of facilities provided at the TTP sites.
“The Federal Government shall also ensure that the TTPs are economic and business hubs, creating wealth and employment for our teeming population, particularly the youth.”
The minister said the neglect of the rail lines for about three decades, the increasing volume of trade and transit within and across the country’s borders, and the continuous usage of Nigerian ports as transit ports by landlocked neighbouring countries gave rise to the dependence on road haulage as the major means of long distance transportation of goods.