The Nigerian Railways Corporation (NRC) has resumed transporting containerized cargo from Lagos to the inland dry port of Dala in Kano state and the inland dry port of Kaduna.
Ismail Yusuf, Managing Director of Inland Containers Nigeria Limited (ICNL), confirmed the development in an interview with journalists in Lagos.
He said that so far about 40 containers have been moved.
He added that another 40 empty containers were returned to Lagos by the same route from Kano and Kaduna Inland Dry Port, a subsidiary of ICNL.
Yusuf said that rail transportation would help reduce costs, save time and ensure the safety of shipments transported by rail.
In his opinion, it will now cost half of what is currently spent on trucking to move containers by rail.
He said ICNL is still in talks with NRC to deploy additional coaches for port operations, as his company has cargoes to be moved on the ground.
“As you know that the federal government is encouraging the Nigerian Railway Corporation to ensure movement of cargo from the seaport to the hinterland and this is very critical to our Kano bonded terminal and Kaduna Inland Dry Port, which is our subsidiary company,” Yusuf said.
“The management of ICNL and Kaduna Dry Port has led 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.
“Presently, they have supplied us with two rails for the last two weeks. We have moved about 40 containers, and this will continue every fortnight until we attain maximum capacity.
“The number of containers being moved also depends on the 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 a maximum of seventy-two.”
In September 2020, the NRC suspended the transportation of containers by rail from the Apapa port to rehabilitate the railroad tracks.