Shippers association says local transportion, greatest challenge

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Nigeria Shippers Association (NSA) says moving items from the seaports to locations where they are needed for manufacturing is shippers greatest challenge.

The association’s Secretary-General, Ms Ijeoma Ezeasor, told the Newsmen that this among other challenges had led to increased cost of shipping in the country.

She said too many shipping regulators was another challenge being faced by Nigerian shippers.

‘The regulators; there are so many of them and there is also the issue of transportation.

”Moving things from the seaports to the location where we actually use them for manufacturing, that’s the greatest challenge we have.

”Right now, moving goods to the South East is almost impossible because of the nature of the roads, the roads have finally collapsed, ” she said.

Ezeasor said that there was need for interconnectivity between the different modes of transportation.

”We have River Niger, it cuts across so many countries in West Africa, why won’t river Niger be used as part of route in transporting our goods to other West African countries?

”Why must we all come through Apapa, why can’t Onitsha port function, so that people from Onitsha can send things across through River Niger.

”I am hoping that the Shippers Council will work with other agencies including NIWA in particular as a sister agency within the Ministry of Transportation and also work with the airports and rail line too to help solve these challenges,”she said.

According to Ezeasor, Nigeria has spent so much money and is also borrowing a lot of money for the purpose of railway.

She said that the country could not recover such huge sum of money only from passengers, we have to infuse cargo into that.

”Growing up as a child, I knew when we used to wait for train to pass with a lot of goods from Kaduna passing through Enugu and coming to customers.

” I will want the railway to be infused into what we are doing at the seaport and also at the airport too.”

The secretary-general expressed optimism that the recent Experts Committee Meeting of the Union of African Shippers Council (UASC) would help address the increased cost of and other challenges faced by shippers in the country.

”We are expectant at the end of the event that the cost of shipping within Nigeria and the region will definitely change to a better out come.

”Gladly, the Executive Secretary and the CEO, Nigerian Shippers Council understands the pains of the shippers within Nigeria and the region.

”We are hopeful that there would be reasonable outcomes in terms of decrease in cost and also better communication for shippers by the service providers.

”The communications come too short, too sudden and also makes us not to be able to plan for our future.

”So, we are hopeful that things will change for the better going forward,”she said.