Consequent upon the endless bombings of oil pipelines by militants in the Niger Delta region, the government is now making an alternative plan for the transportation of oil by railway.
According to NAN, the general manager of co-operate service of the Petroleum Equalisation Fund (PEF), Mr. Goddy Nnadi, disclosed on Sunday, December 11 that as a result of the condition of the pipelines, rail transport will soon be the major means 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 pointed out that Oando Petroleum Company made an attempt to transport oil by rail in 2005 but it was not successful. “I think they are willing to try again. A lot of marketers including Pipelines and Products Marketing Company are collaborating with us”, he added.
He further explained that the rail alternative will complement the work of tanker drivers instead of making them needless.
“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.’’