Nigerian manufacturers face high logistics costs, caused mainly by poor state of roads and limited transportation alternatives.
This is not the case with Ethiopia, which has a standard railway system that enables manufacturers in over 15 industrial parks to reach local and international consumers.
Railways are cheaper means of transportation, thereby reducing production costs in the short and long runs.
“The new railway is cheaper for transport of goods to Djibouti,” Gedion Jalata, former programme director, Africa-China Dialogue Platform, Oxfam International, told BusinessDay in Ethiopia last year.
“For the other railway, it used to take eight to 10 days to connect the eastern and western part of Ethiopia but now it only takes eight to 10 hours,” Jalata said, referring to the light rail in Addis Ababa.
The state of Apapa-Wharf roads which lead to major ports in the country shows why Nigeria must replicate the Abuja-Kaduna success round the country.
While it takes between two and a half and three hours to get to Kaduna by road, it takes less than one hour and thirty minutes to do so by rail.
Rails help in moving bulky products such as cement and steel and will be of benefit to food and beverage makers too.