The West Africa Road Transport Union (WARTU), has decried lack of rail connectivity into Nigerian seaports, saying this encourages cargo diversion to neighbouring countries.
Chairman WARTU, Nasiru Salami, who disclosed this in a statement yesterday, urged the Nigerian government to ensure adequate rail connectivity to all new and old ports to encourage the seamless movement of cargoes.
Salami maintained that Nigerian seaports may continue to lose its hub status if the adequate infrastructure is not taken seriously to improve port efficiency and productivity, adding that other competitive sports in the sub-region are technological driven to create wealth for their respective nations.
“If the issue of railway connectivity is not resolved, Nigerian goods will continue to be diverted to other ports, and shippers cannot be responsible for lack of infrastructure to connect Lagos ports through railway.
Salami described Lome Port in Togo as the most organised seaport in transhipment of consignments in the sub-region, saying the availability of logistics infrastructure put in place by the authorities paved the way for thriving businesses within the international frontiers.
“The reason why Lomé (Togo) port is the number one transhipment port in West Africa today is that the Port has the following: proper road network, trailer park, transit distribution centre, which can contain more than 2,000 trucks.
He added that Customs officials from Burkina Faso have two transhipment centres to distribute cargo to various destinations in the sub-region.
According to him, Togo has two important borders to connect Mali and Burkina Faso and Lakandji corridors through Lome Dapaong Cinkansi or Lomé Lomé Dapangou Pognon Koupenga Nadiagou Fada. He added that the port also has connectivity with Niger Republic, Mali, Burkina Faso and other neighbouring countries through Lome, Kara, Cinkansi Koupéla, Ouagadougou, Mopti, Gao, Toubouctou among others.