Should Nigeria merge its ports with railways?
Nigeria should merge ports and freight train services to make logistics easier.

Moving people and goods around the country is a pain point for most Nigerians.

As the population increases, the swelling volumes of imported goods, primarily through containers from our Lagos ports, rapidly outstrips road capacity, causing delays and hikes in the delivery and cost of goods.

Key takeaways:

  1. Transportation of people and goods has remained a significant challenge for Nigerians living in Nigeria, with businesses now spending twice the cost of moving their products than last year. 

  2. Unlike Nigeria, countries like South Africa synergise their port and rail network system to efficiently transport goods to inner suburbs within and across other countries, earning them significantly higher rankings in logistics performance. 

  3. Nigeria should consider adopting a similar approach. However, the potential success of merging Nigeria’s port and rail lines will require enacting laws and buy-ins from state governments, including private sector efforts to make transport services more efficient.

As such, the World Bank’s logistics performance index (LPI) ranked Nigeria 110th out of 160 countries in its latest report. In addition, Nigeria’s LPI score for timeliness as of 2018, the latest available index ranking, was 3.07 out of five possible points, as shown in the chart below.


Nigeria's rank was higher than the sub-Saharan average of 2.8 points. Still, Nigeria has some catching up with countries like South Africa, leading the region and India or Vietnam, topping the list of logistics performance among countries in the same (low, middle-income) bracket. 

But better logistics

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Adesola Afolabi

Adesola Afolabi

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