– Transportation of oil by pipelines and road is expected to stop soon
– Plans are underway to turn to rail which is considered safer
– The activities of Niger Delta militants has increased the desire to stop pipeline transport
Due to the spate of pipeline bombings perpetuated by militants in the Niger Delta region, the government is making plans to start transporting oil by rail.
NAN reports that Mr Goddy Nnadi who is the general manager of cooperate service of the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF) revealed on Sunday, December 11 that due to the state of the pipelines, rail transport will soon be the main form of transport.
“We are moving into something else. Our pipelines are not effective because of age and vandalism and so the emphasis now is moving petroleum products by rail.
“As we speak, members of the committee [looking into the option of using railway to transport petroleum products] are in Lagos to collaborate with Railconnect, a private company and the Nigerian Railway Corporation (NRC).
“NRC has a lot of rail tanks that are lying idle; if you go to Apapa there are lots of these tanks along the rail lines but because nobody bothers to use them they are there.
“If we switch to rail, the pressure on our roads will be reduced.”
Nnadi noted that Oando Petroleum Company tried to transport by rail in 2005 but it was unsuccessful.
“I think they are willing to try again. A lot of marketers including Pipelines and Products Marketing Company are collaborating with us.’’
He added that the rail option will complement the work of taker drivers rather than make them redundant.
“The Nigerian economy is growing and the more it grows, the more you need the rail option. In the next one or two months, we hope to kick-start the project.
“It will not be very fair to say that the country’s rail service is not effective. Trains have been moving from Lagos to Abuja so cargo trains will be useful.’’