Nigeria’s shipping and cargo logistics services provider, Hull Blyth, has opened a rail hub at Wasimi, Ewekoro Local Government Area of Ogun State, for use by importers and exporters.
The Wasimi Rail Hub, it was learnt, is the first of its kind in Nigeria which will allow shippers to receive import containers from Apapa port, and also send export/empty containers to the port by rail.
“We started this project because we are concerned about the pains shippers go through in moving their boxes in and out of the Apapa port in Lagos due to the congestion on the port access road.
“We are happy to inform all shippers in the Southwest and other parts of Nigeria that they no longer have to go through the pains of trucking their containers to Apapa. Just send it to us at Wasimi and we will gladly move it to Apapa port by rail.
“Importers should also simply hand over their consignments to us at Apapa port and we will move it by rail to Wasimi from where it will be moved to the final destination.
“It is time shippers took advantage of the rail services revived by the Federal Government and relieved themselves of the stress and high cost associated with road haulage,” Mr. Holm said.
Holm said that empty containers returned to the Wasimi Rail Hub will not attract demurrage, as they will be deemed to have been returned to the shipping company.
“The rail hub brings several benefits to the trading community and the Nigerian economy.
“This is because we have agreed with shipping lines that containers delivered to the Wasimi Rail Hub from any part of the country will be deemed to have returned to the shipping company and will not attract demurrage,” he said.
He said the rail hub has commenced full operation, as the first train of both export and empty containers have been successfully delivered to APM Terminals at the Apapa port “within only hours of transit from Wasimi”.
Holm said the Wasimi Rail Hub will save importers, exporters and agents as much as 50 percent of logistics costs since it is much cheaper to move goods by train.
He said the Wasimi Rail Hub is the precursor to a Dry Port, which is already under construction. When completed, the Dry Port will have the capacity to handle up to 7,000 TEUs and will be fully connected to Apapa port by rail.
Danish court returns guilty verdict on Nigerian pirate —- remands him in prison
A Danish court on Monday found a Nigerian guilty of endangering the lives of Danish military personnel in a shooting incident last November involving Denmark’s navy and a crew of suspected Nigerian pirates in the Gulf of Guinea.
However, the court declined to sentence the Nigerian, Lucky Frances, 40, despite a call from the prosecutor for a prison sentence of 12 to 15 months.
As part of international anti-piracy efforts, Denmark deployed a frigate to the Gulf of Guinea in October last year.
“The court emphasized that the 40-year-old Nigeria, together with the other perpetrators, fulfilled all the signs of piracy and had to be described as a pirate group,” Copenhagen city court said in a statement.
Frances, who was injured during a firefight with Danish navy personnel in the November clash, was taken to Denmark for prosecution in January after being treated at a hospital in Ghana.
Frances was exempted from any legal consequences due to his medical condition and the fact that charges against the other three suspected pirates had been dropped, his lawyer Jesper Storm Thygesen told Reuters.
Charges against the three other suspected Nigerian pirates were dropped in January after Denmark failed to find a country in the region to take them.
Frances will remain in custody until both sides have decided whether to appeal against the verdict, Thygesen said.
Possession of NIN by passengers now requirement for boarding trains—Sambo
” The train driver can see from a distance if there are any threats on the tracts that will enable him to match the break long before getting to the threat, and that is why I am telling you confidently,” said the Minister.
The Minister debunked the rumour that train services will resume on Monday, adding that the newly introduced measures will delay the resumption of business along the corridor for a few more days for passengers to get acquainted with the new protocol involved in train boarding before it will resume services.
“We have not said that train services will start tomorrow. I want to be very categorical about that.
“Now, we have introduced a new system before you buy a ticket. The purchase of a ticket requires you to provide a phone number and a national identification number in order to profile you because that is the beginning of the security checks. So at any point in time when a train moves from one station to another, we know who and who are on board.
“If you don’t have a NIN you are not going to board our train, it is as simple as that. If you are a minor, an adult will register for you and an adult can only register for not more than four minors.
“Now, we want to give sufficient time for the Nigerian public to listen to these two requirements, to assimilate this new system.
“So if you go and start tomorrow, a lot of people will be disgruntled. Why didn’t they tell us that this is a new way of doing it? Why didn’t they give us adequate time to do it? So we want to give you adequate time. Definitely between 3,4,5 days, certainly not more than a week.
Sambo assured Nigerians that a smooth and secured train ride is guaranteed while noting that the trains will not travel at night for now, while there is also going to be a review in train fares.
“I can assure you that we are a compassionate government and will consider the masses in the review of the train fare.”
We are not going to tell you what we have done. It is a security matter and I have no apologies for that.
“We’ll be monitoring it on a daily basis and improve on wherever we find some snags”.
“The ticketing called e-ticketing has already been contracted to a company, called secure ID. That concession has gone through the entire concession process under extant laws, including approval by the Federal Executive Council. So that concession remains in place for the duration of the concession period, which I think is 10 years”.
Sambo said that although only God can guarantee maximum security, he assured Nigerians that everything is in place to guarantee a secured and smooth train ride.
“We are not going to tell you what we have done. It is a security matter and I have no apologies for that.
“We’ll be monitoring it on a daily basis and improve on wherever we find some snacks”.
The Minister assured that Secured ID would continue to handle the e-ticketing services.
“The ticketing called e-ticketing has already been contracted to a company called secure ID. That concession has gone through the entire concession process under extant laws, including approval by the Federal Executive Council. So that concession remains in place for the duration of the concession period, which I think is 10 years”.
The Minister was accompanied by the Minster of State for Transportation, Ademola Adegoroye; Minister of Water Resources Eng. Suleiman Adamu; Managing Director, Nigeria Railway Corporation Fidet Okhiria; Chairman Governing Board Nigeria Railway Corporation Ibrahim Musa.
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