National President of Nigerian Association of Master Mariners, Tajudeen Alao, has said that the use of barge for water transportation in the country started losing relevance during the oil boom days.
Alao, in a chat with Financial Street on Monday, explained that subsequent governments because of the resultant affluence that came with the oil boom stopped patronising barges as before.
The master mariner, however, described the sea as the most environmentally-friendly mode of transportation, adding that a lot of goods could be moved at once by sea.
His words, “A barge of a thousand to two thousand (tonnes) will carry the load of 30 to 100,000 trailers on road at a go. If you value the trailer, which is 30 tonnes, multiply that by 30 will give you 900 tonnes.
“So, if you are talking of 2,000 barges, you are talking of a lot of trailer loads that will be on those barges, and they will move those goods easily.”
He also said the use of barges will reduce traffic, adding, “You can see that Tin Can Port was built because Lagos was over-laboured.”
Alao, nevertheless, said that the high level of insecurity in the country may also affect the use of barges.
“What I worry about now is security. In those days, the environment was safer; now it is not safe any longer because of piracy and other sea-related issues,” he lamented.
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