Lagos, Sept. 29, 2023: The Federal Government has begun the first-ever train cargo trip carrying containers from Apapa Port to Ibadan.
The cargo train is aimed at reducing congestion at the port and enhancing efficiency in Nigeria’s transportation sector.
The Minister of Transportation, Sen. Sa’id Alkali, made this known at the commencement of the maiden train cargo in Lagos on Thursday.
Alkali said the days of traffic congestion and logistical bottlenecks at Apapa Port were numbered, paving the way for a brighter and more prosperous future for the nation.
The minister on Sept. 12 inaugurated the loading of 30 coach container wagons.
Alkali said the 30 coach container wagons, loaded with a diverse range of goods, embarked on their maiden voyage, showcasing the immense potential of rail transportation in the country.
The minister emphasised that the train was expected to make this crucial trip three times daily, ensuring a continuous flow of goods to various parts of the country.
Alkali said the maiden train cargo trip mark a significant milestone in the ongoing mission to relieve the burden on Apapa port and streamline the movement of goods across the country.
The minister said with an ambitious goal of transporting 90 trucks of 40-foot containers daily, this initiative is poised to revolutionise Nigeria’s logistics landscape.
He said: “The decision to shift container transportation from road to rail is a strategic move that promises multifaceted benefits.
“By embracing rail transport, the government aims to minimise the traffic congestion that has plagued the Apapa area for years, leading to significant economic losses and hampered trade activities.
“Moreover, this shift will help reduce the wear and tear on roads, enhance safety, and contribute to a more sustainable and eco-friendly transportation system.
“The journey from Apapa Port to Ibadan, which spans approximately 130 kilometers, was completed with utmost efficiency and punctuality.
“The 30 coach container wagons, loaded with a diverse range of goods, embarked on their maiden voyage, showcasing the immense potential of rail transport in Nigeria.
“The train is expected to make this crucial trip three times daily, ensuring a continuous flow of goods to various parts of the country.”
Alkali said this groundbreaking achievement had been met with widespread acclaim and optimism from stakeholders across the nation.
He noted that business owners, importers, exporters and citizens alike were eagerly anticipating the positive impact this initiative would have on the economy, job creation and overall ease of doing business.
The minister said President Bola Tinubu’s administration was committed to prioritising infrastructure development and implementing innovative solutions to address the challenges faced by the transportation sector.
Alkali said as this transformative initiative gain momentum, plans were already underway to expand the network and establish similar container transportation routes to other key locations across the country.
The minister said this strategic expansion would not only enhance connectivity but also foster regional integration and bolster economic growth.
He said the the maiden train cargo trip to Ibadan represents a significant leap forward in the country’s pursuit of a modern, efficient and sustainable transportation system.
Alkali said it also served as a testament to the government’s dedication to improving trade facilitation, reducing logistics costs and positioning the country as a regional logistics hub.
The minister said with the successful launch of this game-changing initiative, it was clear that Nigeria’s transportation sector was on an exciting trajectory towards progress.